Friday, February 17, 2012

Rhonda's Book

Most of you will already be aware of my mother-in-law Rhonda's blog and up-coming book, but for those of you who don't know, I wanted to share it with you. Her blog down to earth is once again nominated for Best Aus or NZ Weblog. It won the title last year. If you haven't already done so, please go to this site and vote for it, voting closes this Sunday. And her beautiful book, of the same name, is due for release next week. It will be out in stores this Wed, the 22nd Feb. How exciting! You can have a tour of it, here through Penguin.

Obviously this plug is partly because lovely Rhonda is my MIL, but also because this is truly a beautiful and wonderful book. We've had our copy for a little while now, and I am enjoying reading it. It's very much the kind of book that I love- beautifully designed with useful tips including saving money, growing your own food, cleaning and making things for the home. It's a delight to read; a very practical and useful reference book; a "how to" guide to living the kind of life that Shane and I are striving for. We are very proud of you Rhonda, and will be looking forward to hearing and reading all about your book tour starting tomorrow in NSW & Vic!

Rhonda, Hanno and Alex on  Boxing Day


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Alex's Room Is Finished! :)

After my lovely Mother's Group meeting today I somehow managed to finish the cupboard in Alex's room, and I'm so pleased with it! One more time, here is the "Before" photo

And here is the "After" :-) Ok, so its not exactly Chez Larsson but it's functional :-D

Top shelf, where I have some Ikea boxes for storing Alex's keepsakes ( I haven't filled them yet but will label as I go), the Medela breast pump, and bulk Aldi baby wipes

Second shelf, I have a cute box that was a gift from Alex's Aunty Cinnamon, which I keep all his "grooming" things in, like creams, lotions and hair brush etc. Another box is for ornaments not being used at the moment (I have a few out around the house, and when I feel like a change I will pack them away and bring out some new ones). The other box stores the legs to an activity table and the Jolly Jumper when it's not in use. There's also room here in the front for smaller boxes or containers if I need to store other things later on.

Second bottom shelf, which is weak. I have put all the baby blankets and the lambskin in here, as they are light in weight so there isn't much weight on the shelf. I have put this container on a little wooden step, so that I can store smaller boxes underneath it. I love this step, and I always find a different use for it at every place I've lived. In the last home I had one of our stereos on top of it with CD's underneath. We now listen to our music from the computer so we don't need the stereos anymore.

Incidently, at the time I was taking these photos Alex worked out how to go from holding onto the shelf to holding on to the little chair nearby!! Clever boy :-) It still amazes me how every day he learns something new!

Here are a few more pics of this room, which I'm really happy with now. Some "Before's"

Dull, dull, dull. The dresser stores some of my clothes and we moved it into our bedroom. The ugly bookshelf went to the hallway.

This side pretty much stayed the same as I love looking out the window from my beautiful red breast-feeding chair. We can see the beach from this window.
And now, the "Afters"

I put all of the soft toys with hard eyes up on the shelf until he is old enough to play with them. The large teddy in the corner was a very special First Christmas present, handmade, by his Aunty Cinnamon.

We bought the little Lego table and chair off Gumtree and Alex loves it! Shane is still a Lego fan so he loves it too :-) Of course there'll be no Lego for a few years yet but its such a cute table, and the top turns around so it can also be used for drawing etc. so I couldn't resist.

Oh and also the other side of the cupboard, where I keep my drawing, sewing and craft things. Bottom is empty as its my Princess's hiding hole. I have the paper shredder poking out a little on the middle shelf there so that the door can't be shut completely, so the poor cat isn't shut in (which has happened a few times much to her disgust). Don't really love her sleeping in Alex's room, but not much I can do about that *sigh*

Middle of the cupboard, where my dresses hang, Alex's clothes and up top are nappy boxes storing baby clothing that are either too small or too big at the moment. I also have to store the vac and steam mop in here which I dislike as they don't fit well but there's simply no where else in our unit to store them

And finally, a beautiful paper boat garland given to me by my best friend Lissy. Its made with vintage French newspaper, and other bits of string, ribbons and buttons etc hang from it. I just adore it.

Hope you've enjoyed the tour of Alex's room.
"See" you all soon!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tackling the Chaotic Cupboard (and Some Teeth)

Hi everyone,

WOW I've had SUCH lovely comments from my last post, THANK YOU!! I havent yet replied to all but I will get there. :) It means so much to me to read your beautiful comments and to feel like I'm not the only one who has gone through a rough start as a first-time parent. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your heart-felt words.

Wanted to do a quick post with some pics of the first stages of organising the cupboard in Alex's room.

Firstly I took (almost) everything out of the cupboard

and sorted them into piles of likeness. (You wouldn't guess by looking at this, but there are little piles of organisation here :))

I had some of these small storage boxes bought from Ikea. As I was assembling I forgot that you need to put the little metal label thing into the cardboard first before assembling the box. So a couple of goes later, I got them done.

I brought up a couple of these large clear storage containers with wheels, from downstairs. I'll use this one to store photos and frames not being used; and also my laminator and laminating sheets as I like to laminate photos sometimes.

That's as far as I got today, and then little Cutie Pie woke up :-)

He now has 7 TEETH!! At 7 months old. And the 8th is on its way. And yes, he HAS bitten me :-( But only twice, so far. Touch wood.

He's crawling like crazy, eating absolutely everything we put in front of him, pulling himself up and can stand holding onto furniture. I swear he'll be walking soon but it's too early!! Before I know it he'll be running which means so will we.

Bye for now, hope you have a good week :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Organising Photos and a bit of This and That

After the lovely photos we had taken by Hsu-Yin, I have felt an urge to organise the photos on my computer. The problem is, I use Picasa 3 and I still dont know how to use it properly!! Having tried 3 other photo organising programs in the past, I am determined to stick with this one. SO I asked Hsu-Yin for some help in this department. She (wisely) doesn't use Picasa for organisation, but she still had some great tips to share with me.

She told me she culls the bad photos. What a great idea!!! Especially in this age of digital- it's so easy to quickly accumulate thousands upon thousands of images! I am going to try VERY hard to do this. It's not easy deleting photos (even "bad" ones-) of Alex, but today I tentatively deleted a few, to ease myself gently into it Lol :-) And I know I won't miss the ones I deleted! A couple of Alex caught mid- blink so his half shut eyes made him look a little drunk- we wont miss those! And we do really have SO many cute photos of him.

Hsu-Yin also suggested I try organising the photos into year and month, folders for the year and subfolders for the month. A great tip, and I will start doing this whenever I upload new pics from my camera. My problem is that I still havent learnt how to use the program and to be honest with you, I seem to have a mind-block on this topic. I'm sure people have told me before how to re-organise folders etc but I cant seem to be able to do it.

How do you organise your photos and do you cull the bad ones? Please share what works for you.

Those of you who still visit here (thanks! :)) will have noticed I'm hardly ever here. Thats because of a combination of being super busy and super tired most of the time since having Alex, and also because I seriously am the most disorganised I think I've ever been! Having my precious little one has turned my world (and my home-) upside down! How can a previously seriously organised gal write on her organising blog when she is currently incredibly disorganised?? Hmmm was considering changing the name of this blog to "Fretfully Disorganised" or "Unhappily Chaotic" Lol ....

But honestly I have been somewhat depressed. I dont want to get all down and too serious here but it might explain my absense and why I have failed to visit and comment on alot of your blogs (Sorry!!) I am still planning to catch up on my blog reading- one day, one day. I'm feeling ALOT better lately though (which is why I'm now able to write about it).  My beautiful Alex does in no way contribute to my post natal depression but the lack of sleep, the difficulty in breast feeding (in the early days), going sugar-free for 3 months, the death of my Grandma, Alex's health scare and tests, and then not being able to keep on top of the house and not being "in control"- has all been very hard for me to deal with, being the control freak that I am.

Don't worry- I'm getting help. I go to a great psychologist once a week and it really helps me. This is quite personal, but I did want to share this with you because I'm sure a lot of girls out there will be able to relate to this. And they might be relieved to know that they aren't the only ones with unwashed hair, a house looking like a bomb dropped, chaotic cupboards etc...

Chaotic cupboards- I like it! Perhaps that should be the name of my new blog? I read on another organising blog something about "Think of the most organised person you know- I bet even they have a cupboard or drawer somewhere, that is disorganised". I had to laugh- and want to share with you , one of my cupboards

Ok, so its not THAT bad I guess, but this isnt the worst one :) But it is the one I want to try to work on in the next couple of weeks (Last year, this cupboard would've taken me 1 hour. But now, I need to be realistic here..)  This is in Alex's room, and what you can see here is baby blankets, a box of stationery, box of photo prints NOT in albums yet, ornamets, a paper shredder, a laminator, and other bits and bobs. I hate opening this cupboard, and that large space in the second bottom area is SO big, its a silly design. It's too big for one box but I dont like to stack too many things, because it can make access difficult. Everything here is where I want it to be, in this cupboard I mean, but I just need to work on storage solutions and work out what to do with that big shelf area. Also by the way, that bottom shelf is really weak so it's not going to hold alot of weight. Hmm. Off to Officeworks and Ikea I go, for some pretty storage boxes.

Lets say this was a "Before" shot- so stay tuned :-)

I am really making an effort to get up and out of this depression, which is why I'm seeing a psychologist and why I'm writing about it here, it all helps with processing things. I'm also trying a new mantra- Be Happy. I think (for me-) it helps when you know and accept you are a  bit down, coz then its a little easier to see your way up and out of it. Its like, you dont know its dark until you see sunshine. I know when I'm really happy because I deal with depression. In celebration of my new mantra, I'm going to adjust the title of my blog :-) And really try to get on here more often, coz it does make me happy, connecting with lovely people (YOU!)- all over the world. Something else that makes me happy is when I'm being creative- so I've been making an effort to get back into my drawing and perhaps even one day, my sewing. I would LOVE to be making Alex new clothes, its just a matter of finding time. (If anyone has any links for a blog/website that has SUPER FAST designs for baby's clothes- please share :-)) I have made some pants for him, when I was pregnant, but I'm pretty slow at it and those pants took me ages.

I'm now going to watch the latest Gossip girl dvd- (I got it out this afternoon) and eat M & M's (Hooray for being able to eat sugar again!!!!) And I'm going to leave the washing and the dishes for tonight- it IS saturday night after all! Are you proud of me? :)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hsu-Yin's Beautiful Photos

We have just been away for a few days, for our first little family holiday. We had a lovely time catching up with friends and family, and a little bit of relaxing and swimming as well. It was a wonderful long weekend, but I also couldn't wait to get home so that I could share with you some professional photos we had taken of us a couple of weeks ago, by very talented Hsu-Yin.

A dear friend of mine, Jamie, kindly gave us a voucher for the photography session with Hsu-Yin, as a present. (Many thanks, Jamie!). It was such a thoughtful and special present, to capture these precious moments with our first son Alexander, who is already almost 7 months old. My goodness the time does fly. Hsu-Yin contacted me with an idea for the photography session, to do the photos in our home and neighbourhood, as kind of  "a day in the life of" style, rather than a sit-down, posed, sort of style. I really loved the idea and so we organised the date for the session.

Hsu-Yin came in the morning, after Alex's nap, and just snapped away as Shane and I went about our usual Sunday morning business, looking after Alex, having a coffee, reading the paper etc; as we chatted with her and got to know each other. It was SO lovely meeting you, Hsu-Yin, and we are sad that you and your beautiful family are moving back to Canada! It was such a lovely, relaxed photography session, so much so that Shane and I felt comfortable to be ourselves and act naturally. I loved this style of photography session as I find typical studio posing too stuffy and unnatural.

AND- the result is- beautiful, natural photos that capture us in a fresh and unique style! We are SO happy with these photos, more than I can express in words! I feel so blessed to have these beautiful images of our little family, of Alex at this gorgeous age, the age of "firsts"- first foods, first crawling steps, first teeth etc. When I first saw these photos I got a little teary- as if I was an old lady looking back on my youth and young family feeling nostalgic! (Is that strange??) There is something very unique about these photos. Hsu-Yin is brilliant with all things technical in photography- the composition, lighting, framing etc. But she also has a remarkable talent as an artist- this type of talent can't be taught in art /photography school.

Anyway- enough babbling by me, and time to show you the photos! Please go over to her blog and check out more of her amazing photos there.

The photos in this post are all originals by photographer Hsu-Yin Boo. You can find her through my links to her blog in this post, and also on her facebook business page, 'say boo'.

Thank you so, SO much Hsu-Yin! I can't wait to have these printed and framed in our home.
I hope you all have enjoyed seeing these as well.
Xx Sarndra