A QUICK AND HEALTHY DINNER : FISH BOLOGNESE

A QUICK AND HEALTHY DINNER : FISH BOLOGNESE

For the last year or so, I have been looking at ways of reducing our meat intake. The main reason behind this decision is the fact that most of the available meats in the markets are full of hormones and antibiotics. You can of course buy free range and organic produce but not all supermarkets have them and unfortunately I don’t always have the time or the opportunity to go to specific shops for specific products so if I can’t buy free range/organic produce, I don’t buy it.

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ORGANISING BRINGS CHAOS

Have you ever noticed that in order to organise a room, a huge amount of chaos needs to be created?

Chaos is an inevitable part of organising. Drawers need to be turned inside out, wardrobes need to be emptied, furniture needs to be moved, bags need to be filled…

It is always exciting at the beginning. I am full of energy, full of ideas, full of intention… oh… the naivety of it all…
I am one of those people who don’t over-think it. I jump right in. I get on with it.

After a couple of hours I realise how much work there is to do – that’s what happens when you don’t over-think things… ignorance is bliss they say…  By the time I come to terms with all I have to do, it’s too late to back down – there is already one more room compromised, I am covered in paint and one of my children doesn’t have a bed to sleep on that night.

There is stuff in every available surface, spare beds become dumping grounds, spare-rooms become waiting lists for furniture and decorations to be re-allocated….  Chaos, chaos and more chaos… awaiting to be organised…

My latest project : re-decorate Chaotic Monkey’s bedroom.
Status : getting there

New project : Chaotic Monkey's Room

It has taken a little bit longer than planned due to tummy bugs, general tiredness (and a bit of laziness) and kids’ social events but my young monkey is once again sleeping in his bedroom and he is very happy with his new bed.

I am hoping to finish the room next weekend.

And then I will need to organise the spare room where I have been dumping all the bits and pieces. I am just hoping that I don’t decide to organise the spare room properly as that would involve disorganizing a different room in the process and I don’t think I have it in me to do that much organising in one month.

A girl needs to pace herself…

Chaotic Itzi

OrganisingchaosBlog

WEEKLY INSPIRATION : ETSY DELIGHT

This week’s inspiration is Etsy. Whether you are thinking of getting organised and start your Christmas shopping early this year or whether you just want to treat yourself to something special, Etsy has it all.

From the most delicate stoneware jug (by LiquoriceMoonStudios) that would be a great addition to my jug collection as much as a thoughtful present for a loved one.
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Stoneware tan Jug

To some amazing and beautifully made sun catchers by dortdesigns
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Dragonfly suncatchers

This jewelry organizer by BarnCatStore should help you keep your favorite pieces organised and on display
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Jewelry Organiser

I have to write things down and personal planners are a must to be organized during the year, especially with one as gorgeous as this by myrubberstamp
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Personal planner

If you want, need or feel like updating your Kindle cover, these handmade options by bertiescloset are always more special, don’t you think?
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Kindle cover

For those fighting the cold outside this scarf by  KnitPopShop is both cosy and fab. I love the colors!
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Plaid scarf

I need these slippers by YniusFelt. I want these slippers. I am getting these slippers…
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Felted wool slippers

In the home decor department, this geometric clock by LatteHome is one of my favorites. I love the colors!
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Geometric clock

There is something very classic about glass magnets and I love the designs in these ones by TannerGlass. I can think of so many people who would just love these!
Etsy Autumn inspiration - Glass Magnets

And let’s not forget that special pet in your life. They also need to be cosy and nothing says comfort and warmth as this cat cave by VaivaIndre. Pretty cool indeed!!!
Etsy Autumn inspiration - cat cave

Have you made your Christmas list yet?
Are you inspired yet?

Chaotic Itzi

NOVEMBER PLANT : A SPIDER PLANT

This month’s plant is a Chlorophytum, better known as a Spider Plant. (spider plant, spider plant, spider does what a spider can...)

My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant 3

I have been wanting to introduce plants to the boy’s playroom for a while now but I was worried about where to place them. By the window, where most of the light is, there is no shelving other than the windowsill and plants would not be safe there. On the other side of the room, where the shelves are, there is less light and loads of toys, so there was no guarantee that the plant would be safe there either.

My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant 1My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant 2So what do you with a plant you want to place in a children’s playroom? You hang it! close to a window if at all possible.

With the location decided, I then had to decide what plant to get. Hanging plants look great when first hung and as they start growing they turn amazing and they really become a feature in the room. I love them.

This amazing plant will have more leaves coming out at the end of the leaves as it grows and that it both weird and cool, which makes it perfect for the boy’s playroom. And it’s a spider plant in a room full of SpiderMen, that’s cool right? It is in my house…
My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant My monthy green purchase - Spider PlantI used a little plastic yellow bin to add an element of fun to the piece, made my macrame hanger and hung it close to the window. It looks so fresh! I love the different greens on the leaves – so bright!
My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant
The boys haven’t noticed it yet. I wonder if they ever will… 😉

Chaotic Itzi

UP-CYCLING A PLAY HOUSE INTO A CHILDREN'S SHED

When Big Monkey was 2 and a bit, we got him a play house for the garden. Back then we didn’t get to go out for walks as much as I would have liked as Chaotic Monkey was only a baby napping a lot, so it was important to me that Big Monkey would have somewhere to play in the garden. This house has been a house, a shop, a garage, a tent… so many stories and plots have developed in that house, both of them have enjoyed it, played on it, climbed it… until one day, when they realized they were both too big to get in and out of it.
OCB - Up-cycling a play house
It was around the same time when the number of kid’s vehicles with wheels (ie. flickers, bicycles, scooters) started to increase and I was starting to get tired of bringing them in and out through the front door, folding them, removing dirt from my hall floor and storing them under the stairs. I needed a different storage solution – a house extension, a garage maybe?

Since I had the play house and I needed a space to store children’s vehicles, I decided to transform the play house into the boy’s shed to store the bikes, that way they could bring their bikes through the side gate and totally bypass the house and they would still be protected (ish) from the elements.

OCB - Upcycling a play house into a kid's shed

After so many years outside, the colors in the play house were already fading. The sides of the play house were a faded orange color which is pretty much the same color as ours (by design, I know, you need to question our decision making), so I decided to leave it. This meant I only had to paint the red roof black in order to have a mini shed for the boys.
OCB - Up-cycling a play house
OCB - Up-cycling a play house
I decided to use Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear Protective Coat on top of the black spray painting in order to give it another layer  of protection against the elements and the kids.
OCB - Up-cycling a play house
The mini shed has worked a treat. We have had it as a working mini shed for about a year now and it is as functional and fun as the first day. They can get the bikes and scooters in and out themselves, there are no more wheels though the house and we got to up-cycle this lovely play house that has given us so many fun memories – how good is that?
OCB - Up-cycling a play house
We are also re-using the kid’s turtle sandpit as their garden. It is there where they get to plant whatever they wish and they love been responsible for their own patch of land – it must be an Irish thing…

Have you got any up-cycling projects that you would like to share?
Chaotic Itzi

Organising Chaos

10 EASY TASKS THAT WILL HELP YOU KEEP YOUR HOUSE ORGANISED AND FEEL BETTER

As I mentioned before, I like the idea of being organised, that is what I aspire to be. An organised home makes for an organised mind, at least for me. I usually feel more energized and willing to do things when the house is tidy than when it is all messy.

You know that moment when you open the plastic containers cupboard and everything starts falling down and instead of dealing with it you close the door quickly and pretend it never happened? No? Really? Neither do I really… Mr B does that, not me… I tend to, I mean Mr B tends to do the same with messy rooms – close the door so not to deal with the problem.

The thing is, how do I have an organised house if I keep closing doors and not dealing with the mess?
These are 10 easy tasks that you can incorporate to your daily routine. They are not big things and they should only take you a couple of minutes to do but by doing them, you will be ale to keep the a certain amount of tidiness around the house that will allow you to feel better about yourself, about your house and inspire you to do something else or even to sit down with a cup a coffee.

OCB - 10 Easy Tasks to get organised and make you feel better

1 – MAKE YOUR BED EVERY DAY
It is amazing how much a made bed invites you to hang out and relax in your own bedroom. Furthermore, research shows that people sleep better on a made bed! So a couple a minutes in the morning can help you sleep better, feel more relaxed and possible more romantically inclined? what is not to like?

2 – WIPE SURFACES WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED
Those breadcrumbs and tomato sauce splotches are not going to disappear by magic. Wiping surfaces straight after using them will prevent dirt and mess build up that will be harder to deal with (or even ignore) later on.

3 – PUT THINGS IN THE DISHWASHER STRAIGHT AWAY
I put everything (but sharp knives) in this lovely machine I like to call my friend. Pots, pans, plates, glasses… everything goes in after I am finished with them. Dishwashers use less water than hand-washing, so you are better off running the dishwasher twice a day than letting your sink fill up with plates. Get the kids involved and encourage them to put their own plates and glasses into the dishwasher after dinner – it creates good habits and it will help you.

4 – LEAVE THE KITCHEN TIDY AT NIGHT
So the first thing you see when you come down for your much-needed cup of coffee is a nice and tidy kitchen. If you go down in the morning to a messy and dirty kitchen you are more likely to want to go back to bed and stay there. It is proven that you will start your day with a clearer head if the first thing you see is tidy. Now, the idea is not to spend 30 minutes cleaning the floors before going to bed, but just put the remainder dishes in the dishwasher and run it, put away all the chopping boards and wipe the surfaces. It is quick and effective.

5 – USE DAILY CLEANING SPRAYS IN THE SHOWER
These products are brilliant and it will help you prevent pink mold and mildew, reduce soap scum and will make weekly bathroom cleaning routine that much faster.

6 – BUY BATHROOM WIPES AND LEAVE THEM IN THE BATHROOM
A quick wipe here and there will help you keep the bathroom cleaner for longer, especially if you have children.

7 – HAVE A COMMAND CENTRAL AREA
Notice boards, pin boards, baskets, magazine racks… whatever suits you, you like or fits your house. It is here where you put all those important letters to deal with, school forms, calendars, photos, invitations… everything! It will not only end those awful piles of random paper at the end of your counter, but it will also stop the running around like a headless chicken, which, let’s face, is not attractive.

Notice boards @ https://www.etsy.com/shop/OrganisingChaosShop?ele=shop_open

8 – KEEP A BASKET IN YOUR HALL
This is where the school bags go, where the soccer and basketball and rugby balls live, where the bicycle helmets are when not in use, where the shopping bags reside… this is where all those little things that don’t have a home go and stay. No more tripping over school bags or random balls around the house… unless of course you are playing indoor soccer.

9 – UP-CYCLE SOME JARS AND TINS
Jars and tins are great for storing pens and pencils, batteries to be recycled, all those important bits and pieces that children give you that you have no idea what to do with them (mainly stones and sticks in my case)… Group things, put them in a container and it will instantly be organised.

10 – TAG, TAG, TAG
If you are like me and forget what is where, tags are your friends. Use some washi tape on plastic containers to write their content before putting them in the fridge, tag bags before storing them to remember what is in them, hang tags from baskets to help you keep ingredients separated and organised. This, again, should reduce the running around like a headless chicken to a minimum.

As promised, none of these tasks are complicated or take long. It is all about making them part of your routine and you should be set up for a more organised home.

Let me know how you get on.
Chaotic Itzi

Organising Chaos

MAKE YOUR OWN ORGANISING TAGS

I am an aspiring organised person, a wannabe. I mean, I love the idea of having things organised but I don’t always get to organise them, either for lack of storage, lack of space,lack of energy and even sometimes pure laziness.
OrganisingChaosBlog - Make your own tags
When I do organise, I like grouping things together, putting them in boxes, jars, baskets and bags and in order to remember what is where, I like tagging them. Tags are great as they come in different sizes and they can be hung from anything.
OrganisingChaosBlog - Make your own tags
The things is, tags don’t necessarily need to be boring and plain, nor they have to expensive to be pretty. All you need to do in order to make a pretty tag is some cardboard, some pretty paper, some glue, some washi paper and your imagination is your limit. There are so many free tag templates around the net these days that you don’t even have to draw your own ones. For this project have chosen few different from RubberStamping and Ihanna.
Make your own tags - Material
Cover some with paper, put some washi tape over others, cover only the edges… whatever pattern or design takes your fancy, whatever you have, whatever suits your house.
OrganisingChaosBlog - Make your own tags
This personalised tags are also great to make any gift feel more special and individual.
OrganisingChaosBlog - Make your own tags
Come on! get organised!

Chaotic Itzi

Organising Chaos

IDEAS TO UP-CYCLE ALL YOUR GLASS CONTAINERS

Although I always make my own sauces at home, we tend to end up with quite a bit of glass to recycle.

I would like to say that we always do our recycling straight away but the reality is that until the bag is overflowing and we keep tripping over it (not really, only sometimes, ok, most of the times) we tend not to do it.

I have put together few ideas to help you up-cycle some of that glass lying around your house, use them in your daily lives, make them beautiful and help the environment.

I got few very pretty serving spoons for my birthday and I didn’t want to just put them in a drawer. By using a wide glass jar with a ribbon around I can display them with pride in my kitchen and I can even bring it to the table.
Up-Cycling a jar to store Serving Spoons - OrganisingChaosBlog

Don’t discard pretty bottles. Refill them with your favorite olive oil and leave them on the counter to be used when needed.
Up-cycling a pretty bottle for oil

I always liked those little bowls that chefs tend to have in their kitchen  for their salt and pepper but I don’t like the idea of keeping them exposed all day. I sorted this problem by using small candle containers to keep handy my salt and pepper by the cooker and by keeping the tops nearby, I can cover them at night. Problem solved!
Keep your Salt and pepper in candle containers - OrganisingChaosBlog

Jam jars and ribbon make gorgeous candle holders. I have few on my stairs – don’t worry they are electrical candles… I don’t plan to burn my house any time soon.
Jam jars as candle holders - OrganisingChaosBlog

Jam jars are also ideal to store your cotton pads in your bathroom.
Jam jars to store cotton pads - OrganisingChaosBlog

Since I am list-freak and our kids are always drawing and writing, we tend to have pens all over the house. Jam jars are perfect to organise them in each room and you can personalise them by spray painting them.
Jam jars to organise your pencils - OrganisingChaosBlog

And if you are looking for flowers vases, the tall passata jars are the perfect height for it. Two or three tall jars full with flowers on your mantelpiece and you will feel like spring has just arrived.
Up-cycling jars as flower displays - OrgansingChaosBlog

I hope these ideas help you to reduce your recycling and inspire you to keep reusing every day items around your house.
Remember: REUSE, REDUCE AND RECYCLE

Chaotic Itzi