MAKE YOUR OWN SERVING BOARD

Make your own Serving Board for a night with friends @ OrganisingChaosBlogWhen we updated our kitchen, we went for solid wood counters. We wanted a very white and neutral look for the kitchen and we knew that the wood would make it feel more welcoming and warm and it totally does. We are totally and utterly in love with our counter tops. Updating the kitchen @ OrganisingchaosBlog

As kitchen counters come on pre-cut lengths, we had to get 2 full lengths for the long stretch along the window leaving us with plenty of wood left to do what we wanted with it.  A big chunk of it was used to make a windowsill behind the sink and that left us with some off cuts of wood that would be no good for any other big project so we put the big pieces of wood left in the attic while we come up with projects for it and we left the small bits in the utility room.

After staring at them every time I did laundry or just passed by the utility room, I made a decision. I decided to make a couple of food boards out of them. It made perfect sense: I love food, my friends love food and  I am always looking for ways to display the food in ways that looks pretty and it’s practical, and this would be yet another way to do it. Make your own Serving Board for a night with friends @ OrganisingChaosBlog
Make your own Serving Board for a night with friends @ OrganisingChaosBlogSo once I united the boards, chalk paint and brushes I got on with it. Two hours later, a couple of magazines read, plenty of coffee drank and the paint dried, I gave the newly painted boards a rub with linseed oil to protect them and stuck some felt pads at the bottom to protect my counters from being accidentally scratched. Ready for using!

We have been using them a lot whenever we have had friends over. It makes everything look so pretty and yummy!Make your own Serving Board for a night with friends @ OrganisingChaosBlog

I have also being using them as a little personal tea station for one.

What do you think? Have you got any wood lying around your house? or are you coming to ours?

Chaotic Itzi
OrganisingchaosBlog

WEEKLY INSPIRATION : VALENTINE’S DAY

We are already in February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Are you a Valentine kind of person?

Mr B and I never celebrated it until we had the boys and they became aware of the day. We are just not very romantic. Now  we have a “family date”, exchange cards and have breakfast in bed, all together. It’s lovely. The boys call it Love Day, and for us, that is exactly what it is.

Whichever way you celebrate, on your own, with your partner, in family, with friends… t is always nice to have some inspiration for the day.

VALENTINE’S DAY DECORATION

If you like embracing Valentines Day to the fullest and go all out decorating your home, this balloon arch is just super cute and it can be used from breakfast bar to cocktail bar as the day evolves…
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog
I. Am. Totally. In.Love. With. This. Chandelier. I just have to make it.
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog
And what about these love-heart garlands? Easy to make and ever so adorable!
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog

VALENTINE’S DAY PRINTABLES

If you are too busy to make anything, or you are feeling lazy, or just not feeling at all, there are some amazing free printables that you could use to decorate your home and get you in the mood.

Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog
www.iheartnaptime.net
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog
persnicketyprint.blogspot.ie

Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog

VALENTINE’S DAY FOOD

Now, if you are traditional and you are planning a Valentine’s romantic dinner, this caprese salad as a starter would be only delightful, delicious and super romantic!
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlogAn antipasto platter is totally down my alley and it means no cooking for anyone… It doesn’t get any better than this!
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog

Or if you want to something a little bit more special, you could have the seafood option.
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog
And I believe that tradition dictates that chocolate must be had for dessert in Valentine’s Day, right? This walnut and chocolate cake is just the perfect treat, don’t you think?Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog

So, whether you are having a quiet one, a by yourself one, a family one or a romantic night, I hope you are now inspired to make the day a little bit special. For you at least. Because you deserve it!

Have an amazing weekend!
Chaotic Itzi

ps- If you like this post, please feel share it with your friends. Thanks!

DISPLAY YOUR PHOTOS IN A BIG WAY ON A SMALL BUDGET

I love having photos of the family around the house. They are everywhere. In the kitchen, the hall, the bedrooms, the sitting room…

Photos are memories. Of course, we have all those memories stored somewhere at the back of our head but we are often too busy to be able to access them. Photos remind us of those memories, those silly moments, the family moments, different places, the fun we had on holidays, how the kids were so small at one point…  As cheesy as it sounds (and it is going to sound cheesy) photos warm my heart.

For the sitting room, I knew I wanted to make a statement display with loads of photos. I was really inspired by Ashley’s one from TheHandMadeHome  but it had to be smaller as my sitting room is not as big (or bright, or lovely, or have her couch, or…) as hers.
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogI knew I didn’t want a permanent fixture on my sitting room so it had to be a frame that could be moved, but where to find a frame so big without having to give up one of my organs at check-out? I had to think outside the box.

One day, I was walking around a furniture shop dreaming of a new kitchen when the light bulb when on!!! I could get a kitchen door glass cabinet as a frame! (like this one, or this one). It is always worth checking out the second-hand kitchen shops for these kind of items. As well as having second-hand kitchen furniture they also tend to buy the remains of stock from big companies or builders so you can get brand new kitchen counters, fab sinks and other bits and pieces for half the price. It is in my local shop that I found my one for only €10!! I think I danced in the shop!!
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogDisplay your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlog
I wanted square photos but not too small so I decided to print the photos in 8×6 and cut them to fit the frame. I then cut a large piece of cardboard to fit in the frame and I attached the photos to it. Once everything is ready, fit it in and secure it at the back with some tape.
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogIt is a lovely collage of memories that can be updated as often as you want, although I don’t think I will be updating my one anytime soon. The kids love looking at the photos, trying to remember when they were that small, listening to us telling them stories about the photos or making up their own one. It’s so sweet.

It is very personal, you made it yourself and for little money – that is officially categorized under Win/Win/Win… Totally!!!
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogIf you want to go ahead and decorate it also, you can find the tutorials for the paper flowers and the colorful paper garland on the blog.

I hope you are now inspired to look at different ways to display your photos. They make you smile.They are good for the soul.

Chaotic Itzi

I love to hear  your comments so please feel free to comment below and share the post with your friends to help us create a community.
Much appreciated. Thank you!

LOSING WEIGHT WITH SMOOTHIES – WEEK 1: KALE & PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

I have been wanting to lose some weight for a while. I usually start the week full of good intentions but, as it happens,  the week rarely goes according to plan and on average the diet goes out the window by Thursday. Now, I have never nor I will ever be a person enslaved to diets or food plans. Life is too short for that. But I would like to shed some weight so…

I decided that the best way for me to stick to some sort of plan is to set myself a public challenge so there is so backing down. Name and shame, people, it’s the only way forward for me…

My goal is to lose 4 kg in a month (or 8.81 pounds). I believe that 1 kg a week is an achievable target and it can be managed with healthy diet and without starvation, which is very important in family life and to guarantee the survival of the rest of the family, if you know what I mean… As smoothies are easy to make, quick, versatile and delicious,(see previous recipes here, here and here) I decided I would go with green smoothies for this challenge.

So the plan is: substitute my daily lunch for super healthy, protein filled and delicious smoothie that will fill me with plenty of nutrients and enough energy to keep me going until dinner where I will be able to enjoy it with my family. Kale and pineapple smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlog

I am thinking that Monday to Friday will be easy enough to follow the plan and drink the smoothies at lunchtime. However, I’d imagine the weekend will be harder. I will be enlisting Mr B and friends to support me and to help me stay strong through the challenge.

If you want to join me, I will be posting one smoothie recipe a week and I will keep you updated during the week by twitter and Facebook with a more in-depth report (I know you like those ones) every Monday this month. I will not, however, be posting my before and after weight. Nope. Too embarrassed.

My personal challenge - Week 1 @ OrganisingChaosBlog

GREEN FEBRUARY 
WEEK 1: KALE & PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

2 cups of chopped kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk you prefer)
1 banana (frozen if you want)
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 slices of pineapple
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (not in the photo)
Kale and pineapple smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogKKale and pineapple smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogBlitz and enjoy. It is delicious. 2 pieces of fruit, 1 serving of vegetables, omega 3, calcium and good source of vitamin B6, fiber, calcium,potassium and vitamin E. And, I know you are wondering, the taste of kale is not at all dominant in it, but it works so well with the rest of the ingredients.

Well, are you coming to the green side with me? Come on! It’s only a month! and it’s the shortest month!

I love to hear  your comments so please feel free to comment below and share the post with your friends to help us create a community.
Much appreciated. Thank you!

Chaotic Itzi

3 NEW USES FOR A PAINTBRUSH THAT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER (AND HOW TO MAKE THEM PRETTY)

It’s funny to see how different things are in every family. What is normal in one household might be something totally alien to another. You really get to appreciate all these differences when you start living with people, be friends, partners… everyone brings something different and new to the mix.

Where am I going with this? In my parent’s house in Spain, there has always been (or at least as far as I can remember) a painting brush in the kitchen. This “bug standard” painting brush was not for painting… oh no! it was to clean out the breadcrumbs left after cutting the bread. So, we would have the bread board, the bread knife and the bread brush. Perfectly normal. Or so I thought. Mr B always found it amusing. Useful, but amusing.
Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog
This got me thinking about what other uses I have around the house for painting brushes that were not, well, painting that are totally normal to me but other people may not know?

1. GETTING RID OF BREADCRUMBS

Brushing the breadcrumbs will make it easier to clean them as they will remain dry, not scatter around the place and won’t get stuck to the cloth making it all yucky. Also, you’ll be able to get the breadcrumbs that tend to hide in the corner…. the little feckers that make you stick your tong out when you are cleaning… those ones! They will be brushed away with your dignity intact!Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog

2. CLEANING KEYBOARDS

For those moments after haven shaken your keyboard upside down and you realize how filthy it is, clean between the keys with the paintbrush to get out the hard to get dirt bits of stuff (or whatever they are!).  Easy! Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog

3. CLEAN THE VENTS IN YOUR CAR

By using a brush to clean the vents, you not only will you dust them but also you will push out any bit of dirt that might have got into them.Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog

How cool is that? and how simple?
But I hear you (or maybe it’s just me!): Do I really want a manky old brush around my house in plain sight? Of course not!!! And that is why someone invented washi tape – to make everything prettier. By covering the silver part of the brush with washi tape and adding a pretty ribbon at the end, you have transformed a plain boring painting brush into something useful and pretty that you don’t mind displaying in your kitchen or your office.
Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog
So next time you are in a hardware store, get some brushes for home, give them some love and they will love you right back. As simple as that.

What do you think? Would you give it a go?

Chaotic Itzi

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MAKE YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED SIGN

Once upon a time, we had some very crappy table nests in the house. They were bought when we were very young, foolish (somethings never change) and we didn’t have much money. We needed little tables around the house so the nest was bought.

The years passed by and the tables survived few moves and many different uses before the legs broke. Despite having no emotional attachment whatsoever to these not-so-nice set of tables, I decided to keep the top of 2 of the tables as they were made of solid wood and I knew (ok, I thought? I hoped!)  they could be up-cycled at some stage and become a whole new product.  6 years later, I feel vindicated.
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comI always liked old signs. Whenever I see an old sign in a second-hand shop I have to stop myself from buying it because, as much as I like old signs, I don’t want a sign that says nothing about my family in my house. I feel like I need to have some sort of personal connection with it, something that reminds us of something but as that was looking very hard to find, I decided to make one myself.

I knew exactly where I wanted to place it : crowning the gallery wall (does it sound posh or what!?!).

I wanted the sign to feel like an extension of the gallery wall but a tad bit different. Same but different, very clear, right?
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comFor the “same” part, I decided to paint the background of the sign, aka the top of my table, with the same colors as my gallery wall: grey and white. I painted the stripes with Autentico Chalk Paint (Soft Grey and Casa Blanca) and then I distressed it by sanding it with fine grit sandpaper to make it feel old. Lastly, I gave it a coat of clear wax to seal the paint and to make it smoother. I love it!
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comMake your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comI just wanted a simple but meaningful sign, a number and a letter. I got the 4 because there are 4 of us and the letter B because all our surnames start with B. It doesn’t get any more personal and simple than that, right?

I  also painted the letters with Chalk Paint. First with the grey and then some pink (Antique Rose) so when I distressed the edges by lightly sanding them you can see the grey underneath ever so slightly. To give it a more romantic tone, I added some floral washi tape to the letters. That’s just me, a romantic at heart…
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comMake your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comI then only had to glue the letters to the sign. It was a tough decision though… 4B or B4… I ended up going for 4B thus avoiding having to explain that the sign did not say “before”… which of course was going to happen…

I totally love the contrast between the rough grey and white background, and the vintagy (totally a word!!) and romantic feel of the letters.

So there it is, my very own, personalized, hand-made and full of meaning sign.
How easy was that? very!

Chaotic Itzi

PS – If you liked this article subscribe to the blog so you never a post again and please share it with your friends! Thanks!

MAKE A PLAIN BLANKET CUTER WITH POMPOMS

It looks like I was a good girl last year because Santa brought me good few presents and it looks like Santa knows me quite well because one of the presents I got a blanket and I LOVE blankets.

As everyone knows, the world is divided between blanket people and not blanket people. Since I was a child, I have always been a blanket person, I was always the one sitting on the couch with a blanket, summer or winter, I always had my blanket with me on the couch.
Make a plain blanket super cute with pompomsI don’t know if it is the heat they provide or just the comfort, but I love being wrapped up in a blanket while watching a film sitting on the couch. And if you get me a chilli hot chocolate, I’ll be your best friend forever!

The blanket I got this Christmas is super comfortable, a Footsie Blanket, it has little “pockets” to slide your feet in so they are nice and cosy and never become uncovered. I love it so much!
Make a plain blanket super cute with pompoms 1As the blanket itself was a bit plain, I decided to pimp it with pompoms. It has been stated once or twice how much I love pompoms (here and here), and in fairness, a super soft blanket and super soft pompoms are a match made in heaven!

As Big Monkey would say: I don’t like it, I LOVE it!!!
Make a plain blanket suMake a plain blanket super cute with pompoms Make a plain blanket super cute with pompoms 3It is now a functional, cosy and pretty blanket that I know I will have to fight Mr B for. And the Monkeys. And all it took was some pompoms.
I told you pompoms make everything better.

Have a great day!
Chaotic Itzi

HAPPY LUNCH NOTES

The boys are tired. We all are really.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThe weather has really turned from cold to just pure evil in the last couple of weeks. We’ve been having storms, strong winds, rain, rain, more rain and when you thought you couldn’t see any more water… yes, you guessed right, more rain! The skies are grey and the forecast is not looking good. Between the weather, the extra-curricular activities and the darkness, we are all exhausted and very much looking forward to the break at Christmas. And did I mention we are going to Spain for Christmas? I am so excited!!!

In order to make things a bit fun for the kids until we get the holidays, I made some notes to go in their lunch boxes and cheer them up at lunch time with random notes from their mum.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThey were very easy to make and they can be as goofy or as deep as you want, whatever you think will put a smile in your kid’s face. I used colored paper, punchers, reward-chart stickers and markers. Some cutting, some sticking, some drawing. That is all.
happy lunch notes - how tohappy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThe boys are loving them. They are coming home with big smiles and are then looking forward to seeing what they’ll get the following day. I have been instructed by Big Monkey not to give him cards that say I love you, although he does love me. I guess I’d better get used to get to that, it is the age. As long as I keep getting big cuddles and kisses at home, I’ll play cool mum outside.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogSometimes I even put a little note in my lunch at home to cheer me up. It really is the little things…

Chaotic Itzi

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