Organising a pantry

A few weeks ago one of my gorgeous besties asked if I could help organise her pantry and while I’ll admit it’s completely dorky,  I totally jumped at the opportunity! We have been friends since way back in high school and being asked to organise her pantry was a complete honour and surprise, because – I’ll let you in on another little secret here – this best friend of mine is a chef AND expecting a baby in the very near future! So to say she needed help, is an understatement! 

I wasted very little time in getting over to her place, we sussed it all out and then hit the shops for some new containers. Back home we cleared out her pantry and I went through everything with her figuring out what she uses most often (to keep at an easy to reach height) and what is used less frequently (that could be stored at the bottom or top of her pantry). Then we got to organising! 

As I mentioned above, I chatted with my friend through most of the process figuring out what she uses most and what would be best to keep at an easily reachable height. There’s no point organising a pantry just for good looks, it needs to be functional too and the most important function is access! At home, I couldn’t count how many times I’ve reorganised our own pantry (as our needs have changed), and each and every time it gets a little more refined and more practical BUT what may be practical for me, may not be ideal for you! So we chatted and worked things around what would be best for now. Trying to keep the bulky items that aren’t used as much at the very bottom and the smaller items that aren’t used so much at the top (again for access and safety – no one wants to be lifting a 4kg bottle of oil down from above their head!). By lunchtime, we ended up with a finished pantry, a mum-to-be that was ready for a nap and a nerd that was feeling very fulfilled! Check out the pics below to have a peek inside a chef’s pantry and to see how we organised this space for her needs…. 

Party in the Park + free party planner template!

Confession time! I started writing this post months ago – exactly 3months ago if I’m honest, because I just realised my babe is now 15 months and time has totally gotten away from me! Life with a toddler, right?

So 3 MONTHS ago (!!) we celebrated our baby girls first birthday with a party in the park. To say it was a bit of a logistical nightmare (getting everything from our house to said park) would be an understatement but we did it and I wouldn’t change a thing! 

Over the past couple of years I’ve hosted a few events which have all seemed incredibly daunting at first but ended up running super smoothly on the day and I have to put it down to my ‘over-the-top OCD party planner’. It’s an absolute life saver and has seriously saved my butt every time. So today I thought I’d share this planner with you and let you in on a few handy hints that have really helped me along the way

The planner itself is super simple, even my 7 year old niece could have figured out this one, but it’s all in the details which is what I wanted to share with you today. Check out my completed planner below and you’ll see what I mean – colours, dates types of serving ware – getting into all these details is what has really helped me in planning events.

I like to start out with all the main elements (black text) – the date, venue, menu items, guest list, all the nuts and bolts of what is going to make up the party and then get into the details of when, where & how all these major elements are going to come together (coloured text). Then, while I’m planning all these finer details, I fill the page with colour and dates to categorise things and give me guidelines of when I can do what so everything isn’t left to the last minute! It’s things like…

  • Whats in the cupboard to use as serving ware on the day? Theres nothing worse than stressing out trying to find a plate that will work or an extra jug in the final hours of prep! 
  • When can I purchase items that will keep, and when’s the ideal time to get all the fresh items?
  • What can be made in advance and frozen or what has to be made fresh on the day?

Once all these details are figured out, it’s just a matter of working through the checklist and if a friend comes by to help out on the day you’ve the perfect checklist there for you both to work through. 

I’ve done parties before with all the details in my head, and I’ve done them with bits and pieces written here and there, and undoubtably every time I’ve missed something or someone has had to do a last minute rush to the shops, but with this party planner I really haven’t been able to go wrong. It honestly has been a major life saver and stress eliminator! 

I hope this planner can help you too. I’ve put together two blank versions  – one is a word doc and the other a .pdf (for if you prefer old school and hand writing up all the deets). 

Let me know in the comments if you use this party planner or what your tricks are for a stress free party! 

Liv xx

LA Adventures

A few weeks ago, hubby and I took a trip to LA to visit family, enjoy thanksgiving and spend a crazy amount of time shopping. I can honestly say we ticked all three boxes very successfully and had an incredible time doing so. Los Angeles is one city that has always been in my top five travel destinations, so I was a little scared I’d come away feeling I’d hyped it up to much – but no, LA delivered on every level and I can not wait to go back! Below are my top five highlights from the trip. If you ever get to go, I highly recommend them all – especially cycling Santa Monica at sunset!
1. Thanksgiving – this day really meant the most to us, because we don’t get to enjoy this holiday in Australia. The whole day was a wonderful experience and sharing it with our American family was the best part about it!

Thanksgiving

 

2. Santa Monica – From the get go I wanted to do this – but I never dreamed it would be as beautiful as it was. We hired bikes from one of many bike rental shops in the area, and then rode along the beach all the way from Santa Monica Pier down to Venice beach. We managed to time it just right so that we had a perfect sunset as we were riding back.

Santa Monica

 

3. Disneyland – Would have to be the highlight for anyone who’s lucky enough to visit! We ended up being there on one of the busiest weeks of the year, but still managed to enjoy all the rides we wanted to. Feeling like we were stepping back into our childhood, we can say it really is the happiest place on earth!

Disneyland

 

4. The Grove and Glendale Shopping – It’s hard to find shopping this pretty in Sydney. There’s something about shopping in the States thats so different to here (even if I’m in the same stores). The open air malls, the people and the whole atmosphere is just different – and I totally love it!

The Grove

 

5. LA Zoo – Going to a zoo in another country is a great way to get to know the local wildlife. Flamingoes, Brown bears, Jaguars and Condors were among some of the animals we’ve never seen in person before, so it was an unreal experience getting to see them all in the flesh!

LA Zoo

 

Christmas Gift Guide – For the home

Whether you’re in your first home or have been set up for a number of years, every home benefits from having some new gadgets or fresh home décor. I absolutely love the idea of gifting our home with something new at Christmas time (it’s a great excuse for a new treasure and will provide fond memories for years to come). Give your home something really special with this guide to hi-tech gadgets and luxe home gifts. From a robotic vacuum, to the cutest décor pieces I’ve ever seen, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to kitting out your home…
PicMonkey Collage

(From the top) ElephantRattan LampStorage Bins, Nespresso Machine, Cushion, Robotic Vacuum,  Hanging PlanterPalm Beach CandleDelft Blue Dream Canvas

P.S. when it comes to at home gadgets there is such a vast range of options that I always love to check out the latest reviews and  ratings – to ensure you’re spending money on the best products possible I recommend checking out comparaboo.

 

 

Operation Organise: Clever Kitchen Tips

Having an organised kitchen is one of my top priorities in the home – without this space being clean, organised and tidy, stepping into the kitchen just isn’t as enjoyable. Now being 90% of the way through our own kitchen renovation, we have had the blessing of being able to sit down and design our kitchen plan around how we want to operate. Today I would have liked LOVED this post to also include our reveal of the new space, but there are still a few final touches to finish before we are at that stage.
While we have built much of our kitchen using drawers (the best way to get maximum storage space), today I’m going to share five of my best organisation tips that don’t require any renovation at all.

1. Door mounted storage – Whether its inside your panty for spices or under the sink for scrubbing brushes and kitchen towels, door mounted storage is already one of my favourite additions to our kitchen. Check out options from Ikea or Howards Storage World for permanent options, or for those who don’t have that luxury, let DIY skills shine through.

Door Sixteen

2. Two for One – Double your shelf space by installing under-shelf baskets (especially for items like cling wrap or spaghetti) or temporary stackable shelves.

kitchen 2

3. The Pantry – I absolutely LOVE well organised pantries, and couldn’t tell you how many hours I have spent researching how we are going to be decking ours out. What I have found, is that open shelving (that is well spaced out) is probably the best and most flexible option. From there, everything from matching containers, well stacked cans or jars, baskets and the like can be added in to suit your needs. One trick I’ll definitely be implementing is using staged platforms to give better visibility for items in the back of the cupboard.

Simply Fabulous Living

Buy the pretty things – I’m talking about the bottles you keep on the counter, whether its for washing-up liquid, hand soap or oils next to the stove top. Invest in nice bottles that are reusable and a pleasure to look at, rather than your typical Morning Fresh fluoro green bottle. I highly recommend the Fleur De Sel dish soap from Williams-Sonoma (pictured below) – it smells absolutely divine!

Williams-Sonoma

Use Platters or Stands –  Placing a collection of items on a chopping board, cake stand, pretty platter or in a basket on the counter works wonders at creating a tidier space. The theory is, four or five items sitting on the bench-top appear as four or five items, when the same items are clustered together on a board or in a basket, our eyes now see the collection as one item hence giving the illusion of an uncluttered space.

Pinterest

Operation Organise – Wardrobes

Not all wardrobes are created equal. There are those that come from dreams, like Carrie Bradshaw’s in ‘Sex and the City’ and there are those from my younger days – the not so glamorous garment wrack. In saying that, it doesn’t matter how extravagant or simple your wardrobe is, there are a few tricks that can be utilised by all. But before we get into the business, a little eye candy…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n57AmaAD0Nk

Now… back to reality! I don’t think I know of any girl, who would say no to a closet like that, but even Carrie’s walk-in could look pretty nasty if not organised. My points below are for just that – it shouldn’t matter how big or small your space is, if it is messy and cluttered it will always be a headache figuring out what to wear in the morning. So, read on to see some of my best tips for creating an organised closet.

A place for everything and everything in its place: This is the number one key and rule – live by this and it will help you tremendously! The guides below, may help you figure out how to organise your closet, but everyone is unique and what works on paper doesn’t always in practice. Each person’s space varies, but once you decide on a place for an item to be stored, ensure it always goes back to that place.

wardrobe 1

Summer/ Winter and In between: Keeping items that are out of season in either a space-bag or suitcase is always a winning idea (especially if you are short of space). However, keeping one or two pieces out (Like a bikini in winter), will ensure you’ve got something to go to should you have an out-of-season day or event. When packing away items, ensure everything is clean and totally dry before being packed away. Also,when pulling out last years stored items consider going through and making the cull at the start of the season – you will generally get a positive or negative vibe when you see the item again after having it stored away for a few months.

The Fashion Spot

Colour Code: Ok, this one is actually my favourite. Most mornings I wake up and will automatically feel like wearing a certain colour, whether it is white, black or something a more lively, I have found having my clothes sorted by colour really helps me put outfits together. As an added bonus, it also helps to highlight where you have lots of items (or are lacking) in certain colours.

Sadi + Stella

High to Low: I’m talking hemlines and sleeves. If sorting your clothes by colour does not work for you, try sorting by clothing style. All maxi-dress together in one section, working up to shorter hemlines and likewise long-sleeved tops, shirts & Blazers, over to short sleeve or camisoles. This trick is also helpful when navigating the AM dressing dilemmas.

They All Hate Us

Drawers or Shelves – Figure out what works best for you. For me it is a combination. All my socks and underwear are in drawers but for everything else that I want folded, shelving is my favourite option. On the flip side some people would prefer to have everything tucked away in drawers. Keeping items in drawers can be done in sold or wire drawers (where you can still see whats inside), drawer dividers are also a great idea for small items.

Remodelista

Ultimately the most important thing to remember it to think about your habits and lifestyles and go with that – put simply, there is no point implementing a plan if you are not going to stick with it!

Operation Organise – Bedrooms

Ok, lets be real – this post could easily be taken over by what is often the focus of bedroom organising – wardrobes, but today I’m not even going to go there. In each and every bedroom, there are a couple of other areas that are also important to keep your sacred space organised and looking sharp. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary. It may only be you (and your other half) that sees it, but it’s the first thing you see each morning and last each night so that makes a pretty important space. It should be a place of rest and relaxation and that means, clean, tidy and peaceful. So what are some ways you can get the most out of your bedroom, beyond the organised wardrobe?
Under the bed – Whether you invest in a new base with storage drawers or simply use space-bags under an ensemble, under-bed storage is valuable real estate when it comes storing away out of season clothes or hiding away other items.

Domayne

Bedside tables – Aside from looking good, I couldn’t live without mine. Hiding away hand cream, tissues, books and other night-time essentials, having a bedside table with drawers means I can have a table top that is a refreshing to look at each morning, rather than a dumping ground for all those little things!

One Kings Lane

Baskets – Whether it’s for dirty laundry, scarves, belts or ballet flats, I can’t speak highly enough of baskets. They are stylish enough to have as decorative pieces, but the added practicality of being able to store items in them is an instant bonus.

West Elm

Storage ottomans – If you have space for one of these, end of bed ottomans are the bomb! We have one in our bedroom and it’s the most useful piece of furniture in the room. Used to store all my husband’s shoes it was a serious upgrade from the good old shoe rack that was previously there. The ottoman not only finishes off the room beautifully and acts as great storage, but is also a very handy place to sit when getting ready.

Hermon & Hermon

Wardrobes – And finally, because I couldn’t do a post on bedroom storage without including at least one wardrobe. Be it built-in, free-standing or an exposed rack there are so many options when it comes to wardrobes, but for now the doors are closed and you will have to wait until next week for my top tips on how to organise them.

Pinterest

 

 

Operation Organise – Bathrooms

Most of us start and end our days in the bathroom getting ready for the day or for bed, so why wouldn’t you want that space to be clean and organised? The sad truth is, bathrooms are often overlooked. I tend to find most people either have a stunning, well organised space boasting loads of storage or a space that is quite uninspiring and leaves us questioning – where to begin? There are so many options for getting your bathroom sorted, whether you already have great cupboard space or not. Have a look at the tips below – there should be something for everyone. I think I’ll be implementing one or two of these in my own little space.
Swap a wall mirror for a medicine cabinet. This was the first thing we did to our home. The ensuite bathroom had a great big wall mirror, that was excellent for admiring myself, but not for much else. To rectify the problem and find a place for all the necessities, we went straight to the hardware store and picked up a medicine cabinet.  These cabinets come in a huge variety of styles, sizes and price points, so picking something to fit your space is super easy.

Pottery Barn

Go vertical – In the bathroom there are products of all shapes and sizes. Storing items vertically will always be your best use of space. With bottles this is easy, but with hairbrushes, razors, toothbrushes and more laying flat in your cupboard, shelf space is quickly under utilised. To rectify, use cups on shelves or the back of cupboard doors.

Pinterest

Give your items a stage – This is a trick I use in the kitchen for oils and other items I like to keep handy. Any “platform” object you have around the house – such as a cake stand, chopping board or even a pretty plate – can be used as a stage to cluster your items on. This simple trick, gives your items a home that looks intentional and much neater than having them just sit on the counter.

bathroom 3

Shelf or niche storage –  If you have walls that aren’t tiled, consider your self lucky this time. Floating shelves are super easy to install and are a great use of space for spare towels or other nick-nacks that wont fit in your vanity. An alternative to this, in installing a niche in the wall, while the space you have may not be as deep, it makes a great space for pretty perfume bottles and the like.

Better Homes & Gardens

Pinterest

Use the door – If you’re lacking wall space, using the back of the bathroom door makes for a great space to hang towels or a bathroom organiser.

Bob Vila

Operation Organise – Lounge Rooms

Spring has officially sprung, and with that comes Spring cleaning and the chance to get your life organised.
Being organised is a big thing for me. I can handle a bit of dust here and there, but feel completely frazzled when my surroundings are not organised. So much so, that my mum and sister have always teased me for having everything down to my underwear draw as neat as possible.

So with that in mind, I thought I would put together an operation organise series. Over the next few weeks we will be tackling one room at a time, starting with the Lounge and moving through to the Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom and Garage.

The number one key to remember for any room is everything has a place and should be kept in it’s place. The next thing to remember is, no two rooms are the same. What works in one room, may not in another but there are always opportunities to do something different (and possibly better). So without further ado… lets get organising!

Week 1 – The Lounge

1. Less is more – One word: Declutter. Do you really need it? Is it in the right room? Have You used it in the past 3 -6 months? If you’re answering no, no, no to these questions then you need to consider whether of not the item is worth the space that it’s taking up. Be ruthless – it’s my favourite word and probably my most dangerous quality, as I will happily throw away unwanted items without second thought!

lounge 7

2. After being ruthless think of the children. No, not yours, but the ones out there who aren’t as fortunate. Is your item something that could go to another home? Even magazines can be donated to op shops and will enjoy a second life. Spend some time sorting through what can go to another home, be recycled or be thrown out.

lounge 5

3. Spring Clean – Now that you’ve got a fresh start get those rubber gloves on, the vacuum out & start spring cleaning your space. Nothing is more therapeutic than putting all your beloved items back in a sparkling clean home. Taking everything out of their original space can also give you fresh ideas to place items in a new location.

lounge - 3

4. Baskets, Boxes & Bookshelves – All of the above can be worked into your room to become a part of the design, rather than obstacles or intrusions in your space. Whether your home is country classic or minimal modern, these days there are many furniture solutions online and off, so finding something perfect for your space has never been easier. As online options, check out Temple & Webster or The Home for great daily deals and Zanui or Crate & Barrel for some fantastic buys.
lounge - 2

lounge 6

5. Hidden storage – Okay, here’s where we can start to think outside the box. Think, hidden drawers in coffee tables, window seating with storage, push-open cupboards or storage ottomans. Any of these will work exceptionally well to hide away items that you want close by, but not on show.

Inspire me!

Today I thought I would do something a little different. We all have days when inspiration is lacking and procrastination is in abundance. When those days hit, sometimes all we need is a little pick me up. Motivational posters can seem so cliché, but surrounding yourself and ensuring what goes into your mind is as positive as what you speak out, is so important to success!

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Here is some of my favourite quotes that I often use to spike up my inspiration and get me moving. Whether is to knuckle down to get my day-job done, or work me up for my morning gym session, it’s so important to surround yourself with positivity!

So, let’s get cracking with some inspiration and motivation!

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