Sunday, June 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 30 June 2008

The Bay Cafe, Ambleside, Lake District - England
Let's see...1 ham sandwich, 1 portion of chips (yes, that's a portion - you'll see I took a bite out of the one if you look closely), 1 coffee and 1 tea for a total of £13 (R208).
I wanted a picture because for that same meal we'd pay about R50 in South Africa.
At the time I thought it was very expensive but I later realised that was NOTHING compared to Dublin :)
Weight loss
I've lost another 0.2kg. Slow and steady wins the race, right?! On the bright side, I went to gym THREE times this week (that's a miracle for me)
Anyway, onto this week's menu...
Stirfried chicken and veg in a satay sauce on noodles
Dion's night
Curry and rice with pumpkin
D - fish and chips
M - healthy pizza and chips
Tomato soup; cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches
Please feel free to ask the organiser (that would be me) any questions and tell me if you want to remain anonymous or if you don't mind me posting it on the blog. Thank you kindly :)
And now, I'm off to put the finishing touches to the handbook for the Virtual Organising Seminar and then to bed :)
Have a lovely week, everybody, and here's to healthy eating!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Going vertical

Walls are probably the most under-utilised spaces in any home.

There are so many corners and dead space that can be easily put to good use if we just go vertical.

I picked up these calico and mesh organisers at Mr Price Home and they are just ready for me to organise keys, letters to post, and all that getting-out-of-the-house stuff. These things could very easily organise your launch pad.

You could use the bigger one for your children's school papers or bills to be paid.

How do you use vertical space in your home?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Travelling light - how to organise your clothes

This is how I usually travel for 4 - 5 days within South Africa. This is an actual picture of my luggage when we flew to PE for our anniversary last year.

(when I wrote those two sentences, it reminded me of the lady's voice on the London Underground. This is West Ham. This is a district line train to Upminster. If you haven't been on the Tube, you'll think I'm crazy).

Anywayyyy, and this is how we travelled to the UK and Ireland for 22 days in May 2008. The blue and grey bags are mine and the lime-green and red ones belong to Dion.

Aren't you impressed?

I never thought I'd EVER be able to travel like this. Never.

But wait!

We went on a 3-day trip from Dublin to Cork and surrounding towns (Kinsale, Clonakilty, etc.) and I only took the backpack! I know, I can hardly believe it myself.

Do you remember my super-duper plan to keep within the cabin luggage allowance of 15kg?

It worked.

I threw away decluttered 7 long-sleeved tops, 1 t-shirt, 4 pairs of socks, 2 books and of course, all the presents we took with us.

I was prepared to throw away some more stuff so I packed those right on the top in case they asked us to pay. Fortunately, I was only 0.8kg over so they didn't charge us anything.

I will definitely do this again when we travel because it worked for me.

How do you make sure you stay within the baggage allowance when you fly? Or do you just pay if your bags are too heavy?

Monday, June 23, 2008

How to have an AWESOME summer

Lighten Up Teleclass
July 8, 2008
5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern

Do you remember the freedom, fun and aliveness of summer? The sun on your head as you ran. The breeze from the swings as you touched your feet to the sky.

Laughing so hard you rolled on the grass. Exploring places unknown. Creating adventures.

Those days seem long gone, now that we have the seriousness of making a living, taking care of people, paying the bills.

Wouldn't you like...

  • to feel that joy again?

  • to be relaxed instead of stressed?

  • to be able to take a little time for yourself?

  • to create an atmosphere of laughter in your home?

  • to let go of striving and pressure for a bit?

  • to say during Labor Day weekend, "That was a fantastic summer!"

Don't let this summer slip away from you again. We all need time to relax, reflect and lighten up.

Join Beth Dargis for her Lighten Up Teleclass:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Menu plan Monday 23 June

Marcia & Suzanne - Stirling, Scotland 14 May 08

Hi everybody
I thought I'd share a picture from Scotland - see above. Have you noticed how I've been sneaking pictures of my holiday on this and the other blog?
Notice that I'm dressed in winter woolies while Suzanne looks like she's enjoying a lovely summer day.
I kept saying to her, "are you sure you're warm enough?" :)
(She's from Phoenix, Arizona so she was enjoying Scotland's cold weather).
weight loss
Only managed gym once this week and have lost a further 0.2kg. I actually getting to the gym quite an achievement because it was the LAST thing I felt like doing on Thursday after my terrible day.

Home/ office organising challenge
You are all invited to join me while you organise your home or your office for the next 10 weeks. Read more here.

This week's menu
Spaghetti, mince (ground beef) and kidney bean casserole

Dion's night...

Curry, rice and pumpkin (BTW, that night in Scotland, I had a chicken biryani; Dion & Suzanne had a chicken korma)

Baked potatoes with bolognaise sauce

Boerewors rolls and low-fat chips

What does your week look like?
P.S. I'm still looking for a graphic designer if you know of anybody suitable. Jade, if you're reading, when I clicked through to your blog, it said I have to be invited to read it so there was no way of contacting you. I'd love to see more of your work :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Designer needed

Hi all

I'm looking for someone (or more than one person) to do some design work for me. I need the following things done:

  1. HTML weekly ezine template
  2. blog makeover for Organising Queen (this blog) and for Marcia's take charge blog

The reason I'm posting it here is I know there are many talented designers out there who YOU may know of. Or maybe it's YOU.

I also think my blog readers might "get" me and my personality better which means less back and forth about style and so on....

If possible, I'd like to exchange services for coaching/ organising/ products but otherwise I need a really good deal.

After all, I'm not raking in the mega bucks just yet :)

Anywayyyy, if you know of anyone or it's YOU, please leave me a comment or email me on marcia AT takechargesolutions DOT org.

Thank you kindly and goodnight!


P.S. I have had THE MOST AWFUL day (crying, etc.) until a delightful interview this evening and then more crying! If you feel "led", would you please say a prayer for me? Thanks again!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Organising your CD listening

Please excuse the shockingly bad pictures - as you can see, with and without flash was equally bad!

In an effort to overcome perfectionism, I am just posting them and trust that you'll still hear my message LOUD and CLEAR.

Anywayyyy, I have this weird tendency where I like all my CDs to be listened to equally so this is what I do.

(if the pictures were better, you'd be able to see but ...well...we do what we can)

One of my goals for the year is to listen to a worship CD every week. I'm not in the car very much because I work a mere 20 minutes from home, and I must listen to the news, so this is a real stretch sometimes.

So I take a CD to the car on Mondays usually and try and listen to it twice all the way through during the week. This is to keep me focussed on God and not on the other drivers cutting in front of me, etc.

On Fridays when I get home from work, I take the CD and return it to my CD rack, but upside down, with the writing facing the other way. So when I choose the new CD for the next week, I know immediately which ones I've already listened to.

And so on. And so on.

And when they're all the wrong way around, then I flip the whole rack (that's the kind of CD racks we have) and start all over again. Bear in mind that I only have about 15 worship CDs that I LOVE, so it's really not that complicated a system.

That's what works for me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Menu plan Monday 16 June 2008

Hi everybody

I've been baking again. Last Friday I made some spicy pumpkin muffins and today I baked some of Victoria's apricot crumble (pictured above) - yummmy!

Despite all of this, I am pleased to announce that I've lost a further 0.4kg, bringing my total weight loss to 0.9kg in two weeks. Yay! I seem to be back in the saddle with gym which is great :)

Did you have a good week last week?

Last week, I went back to gym after a whole month and it was great - I only go to dance classes and both were FANTASTIC! The best thing is the scale agrees because I've lost 0.5 kg.
Home/ office organising challenge

You are all invited to join me while you organise your home or your office for the next 10 weeks. Read more here.

I finally got hold of Sandra on Monday night last week. We had a plan to get together on Thursday but it unfortunately didn't work out as her niece had to go to the hospital. On the bright side, at least we got to speak!

This week's menu
Stirfried chicken, veggies and noodles

Dion's night - I think we're having omelettes

Chilli con carne and rice

Pasta with alfredo sauce

Burgers and low-fat chips
In South Africa, tomorrow is Youth Day. I don't talk much about politics because this is not a political blog but it's worth reading that link to see a bit of the background :)
Anyway, it's a public holiday here which means we only have a 4-day week and I plan to do lots of reading, cook a bit but nothing else that's too taxing. I plan to write my weekly ezine now (which I usually do on a Monday) so that I don't mess up a free day with WORK :-)
What does your week look like?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Declutter by taking pictures

I bought this bottle of water for 1 Ringgit at a tiny shop on a monorail station in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in Oct 2006.
Just looking at that bottle brings back all sorts of memories - how hot and humid it was that day, what I was wearing (tiny shorts and a sleeveless top), how tired I was of walking at that point, how cool the water was and how I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel to put up my feet and have a nice cup of tea.
This bottle travelled all the way back to South Africa with me and has been my gym companion once a week since then, more or less. In case you're worrying about my cleanliness, yes, I did wash it out :)
I finally decided to throw it out the other day but first I took a picture so I could remember the story behind it :-)
And I said all that to say this.
If you're hanging onto STUFF because you feel sentimental about them, take a picture (yes, seriously), blog it or just write something in your journal and let it go. Like I did here with my shoes.
What do you need to let go of? It can be something small, something big, anything.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Home/ Office Organising Challenge


Kilbrittain, Ireland

Hi everybody

I don't even live in the Northern Hemisphere but I've been getting SO EXCITED about summer, just from reading the blogs. As you know, I'm a winter gal (just look at those gorgeous skies in the picture above) so am in my element right now with our cold weather in Johannesburg. If I could only have an insulated house like they do in the UK, I'd be as happy as a clam (anyone know if clams are actually happy?)!

So I decided in honour of your summer and our winter, we should do something fun together.




Here's how it's going to work:


Decide what you want to tackle for the next 10 weeks. It doesn't have to take you 10 weeks but you have 10 weeks to get it all done so there's no pressure. See? Still lots of time to laze at the pool, reading, or in my case to laze under my blanket with hot chocolate ;)

I suggest you choose a specific room (s) in your HOME or your OFFICE. There's enough in most offices to keep you busy for 10 weeks!


Set a deadline. Depending on the size of the project, choose your date of completion.


Decide on a reward for completing your project. Will you buy some pillows for your home? Do you want a new desk for the office?


Map out your "how to" steps. I suggest that you take a big piece of paper for each room and break your BIG project down into MINI projects. E.g. in the bedroom, there might be hanging clothes, shelves, bedside table, etc.

If you're not sure about the "how to", please get the Organise your Home system ( or 7 Easy Steps to Organise your Office (


Make yourself accountable to someone. Tell your family, a friend, your coach, or better still, post it on your blog and make yourself accountable to the internet!


With any project, it's always more fun when you do it together with other people so here's the thing - I'm hosting TWO Question & Answer calls over the course of the ORGANISING CHALLENGE. These calls are f-r-e-e for anyone who owns ORGANISE YOUR HOME or 7 EASY STEPS (and all clients).

Call 1 Thursday 26 June 8PM South Africa time/ 2PM Eastern Standard Time
Call 2 Thursday 24 July 8PM South Africa time/ 2PM Eastern Standard Time

During this time, you get 1:1 coaching and can ask me anything that you're battling with, tips and ideas about your organising project, etc, etc. Or you can just come listen in and get ideas from the others. Don't worry if you can't make the times - you can email your questions and I'll answer them on the call. Both calls will be recorded and the links will be put up on the password-protected site for all who have registered.


1. Leave a comment here if you're up for it.
2. Email me if you're a previous purchaser of the HOME ( or OFFICE ( product.
3. When you buy the product, in the comments section, please put "organising challenge" and I'll add you to the list for all the call-in information.

This is only going to take about 60 minutes every week.

Won't it be WONDERFUL to have a FUNCTIONAL and ORGANISED space at the end of August?

P.S. If anyone's a Photoshop whiz and can help out, please contact me - I need a button for this challenge to put on the blog ;)

P.P.S. If you want to see some travel pics, check out the travel blog at

Sunday, June 08, 2008

menu plan monday - 9 June 2008

Hi everybody

Did you have a good week last week?

My goal for June is to get rid of the extra 2kg I gained while on holiday in the UK and Ireland. I seem to have a built-in radar for baked goodies no matter where in the world I go and this trip, it was either Tesco's yum-yums (delicious!), scones with jam or THE most delicious doughnuts ever.

The friend we stayed with in Dublin, Craig, is a psychotherapist so we'd meet him at the hospital every day after work and before leaving, we'd pop into the canteen for tea and a chocolate-filled doughnut. My word - light, non-greasy with just a sprinkling of castor sugar - I'm salivating now just thinking of it! Absolutely delicious ;)

Anyway, so you can see how easy it was to gain weight.

Last week, I went back to gym after a whole month and it was great - I only go to dance classes and both were FANTASTIC! The best thing is the scale agrees because I've lost 0.5 kg.

This week, my goal is THREE dance classes :)
summer/ winter organising project
I'm going to be announcing a special project this week so keep reading. This is a bright idea that I had while in the shower :)

I've phoned Sandra four times and have still not spoken to her. Three times the phone just rang and rang and the fourth time I left a message. So will try again this week - I can't bear the thought that she's so close and we can't seem to get hold of one another!

This week's menu
Baked potatoes with bolognaise sauce

Dion's night - last week we had takeaways which I'm not keen on but oh well...

Pizzas/ garlic rolls/ tomato soup

Mashed potatoes, grilled fish in a tomato sauce

Pasta with spicy kidney bean sauce

What does your week look like?

Friday, June 06, 2008

The change of seasons is a good time to declutter

Remember this?

When I posted about how long we should keep clothes we plan to fit into, Carmen commented and shared what I thought was a fabulous idea - double decluttering!

She said that the first declutter is always harder for her so she then goes back over the same area a week or two later to see if she's changed her mind about anything else.

Absolutely brilliant idea!

So just before we went to the UK I went back into that wardrobe of mine and decluttered again. And it really was easier to make decisions the second time around.

Look at all these additional clothes I managed to get rid of the second time around!

They don't look like very much there but I filled two shopping bags to bursting.

This is the wardrobe before. The door on the left pretty much stays closed all the time with a small laundry basket in front of it, so I keep all the current season's clothes on the right. You can see some short-sleeved suits on the right and the pants hanging below are also summer clothes.

(If I could do the writing on the photos with arrows and such like you see on other blogs, I'd show you but for now, just pretend there's a line down the middle)

And this is the wardrobe after. I've now moved my winter pants and jackets to the top right and my long-sleeved shirts to the bottom. My boots are also easy to reach and the whole wardrobe is just a lot prettier. (when I've just organised a space, I like to leave it open for a few hours to just gaze at the loveliness, don't you?!)

And there you go - a beautifully organised wardrobe/ closet.

Have you heard of double decluttering? What do you think of the idea?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Want to read about London?

Hi all

I've started updating our travel blog.

You can read more here and please do chime in and let me know what you think :)

If you want to stay updated until I've done, then click the subscribe button at the top of the sidebar on the TRAVEL blog...

Enjoy the pictures :)

Helping victims of xenophobia in South Africa & my menu plan for the week

Hi everyone

It's a beautiful winter's day in Joburg - ice-cold but sunny!

I can't help thinking about the victims of the xenophobic violence in South Africa - homeless or staying in tents with almost no clothes or blankets. My heart just bleeds for them.

I have a gardener working for me who is one of those victims - last Monday when he was there I gave him some towels and Dion gave some clothes. I now have had some more time to think and I've put some more stuff together for him, including some toiletries, jackets, etc.

For South Africans who read this blog
This is a GREAT time to declutter.

I always find that when there's someone in need, it's a lot easier to get rid of things. Remember to ask yourself, "who can use this today?" instead of saying "I might need this someday".

**This morning on Radio 702, they were asking the public in particular for clothes and blankets. Of course food and other goods are also very welcome.

Thanks for reading...

In other blog news
I plan to phone Sandra later to make some plans to get together. We'll be sure to take pictures for the blogs ;) I can't wait!

This week's menu
Chicken stirfry with veggies and noodles

Dion's night - I don't care what I eat as long as I don't have to think about it or prepare it :)

Leftovers from freezer

Healthy spaghetti bolognaise

Girls Night In - we're having a men's thing at church so my friend and I are sending the men and we're staying in for a nice chat :)

What does your week look like?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Kind people gave me these awards