Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are you sentimental? Re-use those containers

Laura posted about re-using containers some time back so I decided to show you how I've re-used some in my home.

We received matching souvenir mugs like these from San Antonio, Texas. They're a bit too big to actually use for tea or coffee so I keep my sweetener, different tea bags and coffees, and a chocolate spoon for hot chocolate in here.

When the babies were born, we got tons of flowers. Once I threw out the flowers, I washed out the containers (not all of them, but the nice-looking ones) and re-used.

This one holds bum creme, etc. at the babies' changing table.

and this one is in the bathroom with baby bath toiletries

Not only are these containers now functional, but every time I use them I think of the people who gave them to us.

Are you hanging onto something sentimental? Think about some ways you can re-use it so that it's not just clutter.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

This week's organising challenge - declutter your bathroom toiletries

I thought it would be fun to issue a challenge this week on something relatively easy to do - declutter your bathroom toiletries.

You all know that I have the smallest bathroom in the world so I don't have enough storage space in there.

I use a drawer inside our bedroom to store excess bathroom toiletries.

This is my decluttered drawer....

and this is what I managed to declutter from the drawer and from the bathroom itself. 11 items

Right, over to you.

Are you up for the challenge? Let me know how many items you manage to declutter.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5-minute organising project - laundry cupboards

Organising doesn't have to take a whole lot of time. In fact, we should all look out for little pockets of time throughout the day just to make your space function more effectively.

Usually I find that if many people use a space, it will need tweaking/ organising more often. There are four of us in here on an almost daily basis - the nanny, cleaning lady, D & me - it was getting on my nerves....

so this literally took me 5 minutes to organise - and that includes taking the pictures.

top shelf of laundry cupboard - before

top shelf of laundry cupboard - after

bottom section - before

bottom section - after
Lovely - order restored!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't sign up with Preggi Bellies

at least, not unless you have the money to throw away or you're 100% sure you can finish your course of classes.

You know I normally don't write posts like this but this but I've been back and forth countless times with this company and I just feel like I need to let you know what you may be in for.

It took a loooong time for me to fall pregnant so my doctor told me no exercise in case we jeopardise this pregnancy unless you want to join Preggi Bellies.

I'd always been reasonably active, wanted to stay fit throughout my pregnancy so I joined up.

You have to pay upfront for your entire course of classes - either 25, 30 or 35. I'm not a fan of the paying in advance thing since you never know what might happen so I took the least amount of classes (25) and paid my R2500.

Long story short... I have a busy life, went to Ireland, and had two preggy "incidents" so I only used 8 of those 25 lessons.

After the two "incidents" the doc told me to stop exercising as we didn't want any more drama!

So I contacted them to request a refund. And there the trouble began.

  • They avoided my emails and phone calls for over a month. I started getting a bad feeling...
  • Then after the babies were born (8 weeks early as it happens), I started chasing up again.
  • Finally got an email telling me they don't do refunds but I'm welcome to use up my remaining 17 lessons. First of all, I have twins. Who has the time to go back to classes (9 weeks of them as I'd think 2 maximum per week) with twins??? I barely have time to brush my teeth!
  • After lots of back and forth, they eventually offered me R660. Work that out - I'll wait... R2500 for 25 classes = R100 a class. 8 classes taken means I should be expecting R1700.
  • Apparently there's a 15% admin fee. Okay..... even so, HUGE jump from the R660 you're offering me to the R1700 I'm expecting.
  • How can you take off a 15% admin fee PLUS only give me half of what's left? Daylight robbery!
  • I tried to reason with them... "I didn't not use up the classes because of laziness; medical reasons prevented me from continuing" and "this will result in reputational risk for you as I write a very popular blog..." but they were not having any of it.
  • So eventually I stated my case one last time (I do like to get my opinion out there!) and decided to conserve my energy, take the R660 and let it go.
  • I was also going through bouts of crying every day and this wasn't making me feel any better.
Hence this post!

So a warning to any other pregnant ladies out there. Please please please learn from my mistakes and don't sign up with Preggi Bellies unless you have the money to throw away if something goes wrong with your pregnancy.

Of course the irony of it all is that once this happened, many of my friends said that having to pay upfront was what held them back from joining up. AAAARGHHHHH!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Outlook tip that will save you LOTS of time

I'm a big lover of "drag and drop". I drag and drop almost anything and everything within Microsoft Outlook.

Here are 3 of my favourite ways to save you time:

1. saving user names and passwords

When you sign up for a new website and they send you that confirmation email with your user name and password, drag and drop the email into either Contacts (my preferred location - no particular reason) or Notes.

It's very easy to use the search function to find what you're looking for and also to email the correct people if you need support. Maybe that's why I like Contacts better - you can send an email from there easier than with a Note.

2. saving email addresses

Drag and drop the entire email onto your Contacts. I like to do this the first time someone emails me (if there's a need to keep the email, like with a new client) so I have all the background and not only the person's email address.

It's also easier (and faster!) for me than opening the email, right clicking the person's name and then selecting "Add to Contacts".

3. diarising or scheduling events

Sometimes my friends and I will have an email discussion about getting together for breakfast, etc.

Once we decide on a date and time, I drag and drop the email onto my Calendar, change/ add what I need and then send it out as a meeting request. Saves me lots of time that I would have had to retype information.

What's your favourite "drag and drop" tip?

Monday, September 14, 2009

12 days

Hi all

I don't think I've ever been away from the blog as long as this before but I have two very good reasons:

these two babies

Motherhood is the most rewarding, challenging, frustrating, crazy thing I've ever done and the twins thing? It's seriously kicking my butt! But I'm getting there and finally seeing some light. They'll be 10 weeks old tomorrow but as their paediatrician says, they're only actually two weeks old because they were 8 weeks prem!

We are settling into a bit of a routine. I almost hesitate to type that because it's a bit of a "two steps forward, one step back" business around here. Do you know what I mean?

I'm not sure what happened to the guest blogger I was meant to have for 6 weeks but now that I'm a mother, I understand that life just happens a lot of the time and sometimes survival is all you can hope for. Jenny, I hope you're okay.

However, I had a session with my accountability partner and friend, Beth Dargis, on Friday and I'm putting blogging back onto my to-do list :)

So check back later this week for some more posts.

  • How have you all been doing?
  • What have you been up to?
  • And if you care to, please share your best advice for getting through the first 6 weeks!
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A quick way to tidy your kitchen counters

I was getting annoyed with all this baby bottle sterilising paraphenalia on my counters - it just looked messy.

I do need to have it out since I'm using it a gazillion times every day with the twins.

So I put it all on a tray and instantly, the kitchen counter looks much neater.

I did the same thing with the nappies (diapers), bum cream and baby wipes. Doesn't it look nice and neat now?

Where can you use some containerising to make your home look neater?
  1. basket in your entrance hall to keep keys

  2. box to keep all the papers that need to be filed

  3. basket/ bowl on your bedside table for your hand lotion, pens, etc.

Your turn!

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