TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

I might have mentioned once or twice that winter is not my favorite season ūüėČ

In fairness, it’s not just a dislike for the weather, the darkness, the grey skies or the cold. I do dislike all of them individually and of course, everything together is just like being sneezed by the devil. ¬† A devil with a nasty cold. And loads of snots…

But as well as the external nastiness, winter has a terrible habit to get me down. Every year, after the Halloween weekend, when the hour goes back, I feel very unmotivated, crankier, no energy and generally low in moral and energy.

I usually take vitamin D supplements during winter, but the supplements alone are not enough to have a smooth and balanced internal winter period. This year, however, I have been doing other things and I am delighted to report that this is the most emotionally balanced winter in a long time, and that is no small achievement.

Nope. I have not migrated to sunnier countries, despite thinking about it every rainy day. I have not got a SAD light either, although last year I seriously thought about investing in one of those lamps.

None of that. Investment has been minimum and yet the results have been amazing.

Do you want to know what I have done? These are my…

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

Vitamin D supplements

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

This is Step 1 – the most important one. Most people in Ireland suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. It’s not just due to the lack of daylight in winter, but the fact that even during those few hours of daylight, the sun vitamin does not get absorbed by our skin because of the clouds.
Now, what I am about to say might be controversial, but here we go. I truly believe that we should stop using creams with SPF in winter!!! You don’t need it. Most cosmetic creams have a minimum of SPF15 in them. This is all very well and good during the summer or if you live in California all year around, but here in Ireland… in winter, you don’t need it! Try to get as much as natural vitamin D as you can by making it easy for your skin to absorb it.
Anyway, I leave that with you.

Fresh Air

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER: Walking

When I went back to work part-time during the summer, I started walking in and out as parking in town would cost me a small fortune and it would not be very cost-effective. I soon started feeling the benefits of the walk. Not only was I getting fresh air and much-needed exercise, but it was also time by myself that I would not otherwise have during the rest of the day between work and family. It was time by myself to listen to music, organise my thoughts, listen to a podcast or simply enjoy and appreciate my surroundings and the people I meet every day on my walk. It has been very good for my head.

 See-through umbrella

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER: SeeThrough umbrella

Yes, I really just said that, but let me explain. It’s not as random as it sounds. As it rains a lot over here (understatement of the year!!) and I was walking to work, I needed a suitable umbrella that would survive the journey and see-through umbrellas were the obvious choice because you can lower them as much as you can in order to cover all of your head and yet you can see all other pedestrians thus avoiding unnecessary eye removal to strangers. Furthermore (oh yes, their wonders do not cease here) you can also see the sky which, as grey as it may be, is still a far better option than the dark interior of an umbrella. It makes a massive difference!

Trying to find a life balance

Tips to survive winter

I have spent a lot of my winter try to find the right¬† work-life-family-fun-friends balance. As our circumstances as a family change, the balance needs to be constantly adjust. Although¬†I have not yet¬†found the perfect equilibrium, and I can’t say that I will ever have it, I am constantly striving to find it and trying to keep some sort of balance going. This has been one of my priority tasks this winter.
I believe that the simple fact of trying to achieve said balance, has led me to make better decisions over all in terms of making efforts to see friends, organise events with family, have a date night or go to bed early. An ongoing process but a process nevertheless.

So, as you can see, these tips are not hard, they require very little investment, and they are easy to follow. They are all small things. But this very short list of silly little things are responsible for me having one of the best winters in a long time.

I have been in great form, in a very positive state of mind that has brought a lot of peace to my heart and our home.

They often say it is the small things…
They must be right…
I will keep going….

Chaotic Itzi

GOODBYE JANUARY & HELLO FEBRUARY

Happy February lovely people! Wow! January went fast, didn’t it?

January can be a tough month to get through. We tend to have little cash in our pockets, we are exhausted from the Christmas parties and get togethers, the weather is getting colder… Even the children feel it! Chaotic Monkey told me yesterday that he was very tired because we had too many parties in Spain over Christmas. Life is tough when you are 6, for sure!

I have to say that this month was ok for me. It took me a good while to get back into the swing of things. Back into the routine, the organised meals, the timetables… everything. It was the same after the summer holidays. I think I am just so good at being on holidays that my whole self fights going back to reality. So, if you ever hear of a job that requires being on holidays and relaxed, please make sure to let me know… please….

Last month on the blog, I shared my new approach to the tidying conflict in my house.¬†I have to say it is working a treat. The idea of the toys being confiscated or in “time out”, as they call it, for few days is a great incentive to get things going before going to bed without an argument. If I had only known this before… Have you tried it yet?
A new approach to the tidying conflict - OrganisingChaosBlog
I also talked about being a blanket person and how to cheer up a plain blanket with simple pompoms. By the way, I can’t stop making pompoms. I find it so soothing and therapeutic. Also, I am trying to stop biting my nails so it helps having my hands busy on the couch ūüėČ
Make a plain blanket super cute with pompoms - OrganisingChaosBlog
I also shared tips on how to keep the cables tidy around the house, and 3 different uses for paint brushes that should help you make your life easier. Have you tried any of them yet?
KEEP YOUR CABLES PRETTY TIDY OrganisingChaosBlog
Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog
I am delighted with my personalized sign crowning my stair gallery. I love that it means something to us and that it is now part of our home. There will be fights as to who gets it on the will, I just know it… ūüėČ
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.com
My January plant smells so delicious that I would love to have one in every room. As that is not going to happen, it will have to move with me from room to room until at least Spring has arrived.
Monthly Plant : My Jasmine Hoop @ OrganisingChaosBlog
And this month as we get closer to my kitchen renovation date (insert happy dance here!) I needed inspiration in the kitchen lighting department, and also some inspiration was needed to decorate the boy’s rooms according to their age and needs. I will be copying some of the ideas for sure.
Kitchen lighting Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog

www.thestickerworkshop.com
www.thestickerworkshop.com

So goodbye January. It was lovely to have you but glad that you are gone. We are now a month closer to Spring. A month closer to Summer.

I have a gut feeling that February will be kind to us. What do you think?

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

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

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

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

Auto Updating Promotional Banner

MAKE YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR

Today is the 1st day of December. The 1st¬†of December!!! Which means that there are 18 more sleeps until Star Wars: The Force Awakens!! I can’t wait!!!!
Oh yeah, and 24 sleeps to Christmas!
Make your own Advent CalendarThis year I wanted to make an Advent Calendar to help with the countdown to Christmas at home, to build it up more and, to be honest, to blackmail the kids into being on their best behavior for the month. Oh yeah, mother of the year and all that… that’s me…
Make your own Advent CalendarI wanted to make something simple but pretty. I decided to use 4 different patterns with just a couple of materials. Nothing complicated.
Advent Calendar - making the felt patternsI made Christmas stockings and mittens from felt and I made parcels with toilet rolls and wrapping paper.
Advent Calendar - making the parcelsOnce I had all the parcels together, I added the numbers with washi tape and I hot-glued them to some red ribbon.
Make your own Advent Calendar -Make your own Advent CalendarIt will definitely help with the build-up to Christmas.
24 sleeps. 24 treats. All waiting for them right there, on the wall.
Make your own Advent Calendar - 3This month is going to fly.
Are you ready for it?
Chaotic Itzi

MY GALLERY WALL

My gallery wall is finished and I am very happy with the result.
My finished gallery wall 6The longest part of the process for me was choosing the color¬†scheme¬†and¬†the¬†prints¬†to get the mood I wanted for the stairs.¬†I wanted something subtle, soothing, cheerful and fresh. Once I got that sorted, the process went very fast as I couldn’t wait to see the end product.
OrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wallThe prints are very lighthearted full of love and joy.
OrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wall One of my favorite pictures on my wall
OrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wallThe main part of the gallery welcomes us in the morning as we do downstairs for breakfast and, no matter how grey or wet the day is, we all go down smiling and looking at the prints.
OrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wallOrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wall I have deliberately not gone for a pattern when hanging the frames. I didn’t want something too regimented. I like the idea of being able to add more bits and pieces to the wall in an organic way. I also had to work with the hooks that were already on the wall, which limited the creativity in some parts of the wall.
OrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wall I am delighted with the result.
What do you think?
OrganisingChaos - My finished gallery wall
Chaotic Itzi

Stella & Dot New Arrivals

RECIPE: BREADED CAMEMBERT SALAD WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

If you like cheese, you are in for a treat.
Fried camembert salad with cranberry sauce - delish
This recipe makes the loveliest starter for a dinner party. It is nice, it is tasty and it is light – all the things you want in a starter. Camembert is a delicious creamy cheese in its own right and by coating it with breadcrumbs and frying¬†it, you get a lovely crusty outside and a¬†soft and creamy inside… just yum!

To make a starter for 4 people, you will need:
4 people (ha! I know, I am hilarious!)
1 big  cake of Camembert cheese cut into wedges
1 beaten egg
breadcrumbs
For the sauce:
190 g Jar of cranberry sauce
Zest and juice of ¬Ĺ orange
Approximately 1 pint or 500ml of vegetable oil, heated to 180C in a heavy bottomed pan.
Fried Camembert with cranberry sauce and salad - so good
How to:
Cut the Camembert cheese into wedges. Dip each piece into a bowl with the beaten egg and straight onto to the bread crumbs making sure they are all coated evenly. Let them rest and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
To make the sauce, mix the cranberry sauce, orange juice and zest in a bowl. You can have the sauce warm by warming it slightly in a saucepan while frying the cheese but cold is also works a treat.

Heat the vegetable oil to 180C and deep fry the Camembert for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, crisp and delicious. Remove it and place it in a plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
My favorite starter - Organising ChaosFried Camembert with cranberry sauce and salad - so good
Serve the breaded cheese with the sauce and a side leafy salad dressed with a light vinaigrette.

This is the kind of starter that you can prepare in advance and just fry as your guests are just sitting at the table. ¬†You’re guest will love¬†it. And if the don’t, they don’t deserve to be your friends… get better ones, you totally deserve it… I am only joking… not really

Fried camembert with cranberry sauce - delish . Organising Chaos

Invite friends and see what they think and if they deserve to be your friends…;-)
Chaotic Itzi

Bows and Crafts