TIP : NO MORE MESSY SANDWICHES

Today I want to share with you a little tip that will help you keep sandwiches closed on the go, will make them easier to eat and there will be less mess! Am I promising too much? Not at all!

We all make sandwiches at some point in our life. Whether is office or school lunch, a weekend picnic, to eat in the train…. sandwiches, pita bread pockets, wraps, baguettes… food sandwiched between an edible top and bottom, is usually our go-to-food to eat “on the go”.
Tips - no more Messy Sandwiches @ OrganisingChaosBlogI tend to get a bit creative when I am making sandwiches. I mean, just because I am eating a sandwich it doesn’t mean that it has to be plain and boring, right? The problem is that the more ingredients you put in, the harder will be to keep it closed.

The boys used to come home from school frustrated because their sandwiches were very messy by lunch time. From all the rattling inside the lunch box, the sandwich was pretty much deconstructed by the time they went to eat it making it difficult to pick them up or do anything with it.

In order to keep all your ingredients inside the sandwich and avoid mess is to wrap it in cling film or tin foil. That will certainly keep your sandwich neat. But, if you are like me and you are not a great fan of cling film, and/or you have run out of it, and/or if you like reusing your containers, there is a very simple solution for you.

NO MORE MESSY SANDWICHES – HOW TO

  1. Make your sandwich. Put all the ingredients you want in it. Yes, as many as you wantTips - no more Messy Sandwiches @ OrganisingChaosBlog
  2. Cut your sandwich in half if required.
  3. Get a sheet of kitchen paper and cut 2 strips from it. The width of the strip will depend on how big your sandwich is. The bigger the sandwich, the thicker the kitchen roll strip should be.
  4. Fold the strips lengthwise to make them more resistant.
  5. Wrap the folded kitchen paper strip around your sandwich.
  6. Secure with some tape.Tips - no more Messy Sandwiches @ OrganisingChaosBlog
  7. Ta dah!
  8. Repeat procedure for other sandwiches.

This tip works perfectly well with baguettes, wraps, burritos, pita bread… anything that needs to be contained, some kitchen roll and tape will contain it! So no more messy sandwiches, lunch boxes or picnics, just wrap it and enjoy it!
Will you try it?
Tips - no more Messy Sandwiches @ OrganisingChaosBlog

Happy Friday lovely people!
Have an amazing weekend

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

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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

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

I love looking around the web for handmade Christmas decorations.

Handmade decorations always make a house truly feel like a home and they add so much character to any space, plus the satisfaction of knowing that you have made something yourself.

As you know, I love creating messes and making things. I like getting the kids involved. They get so excited! Chaotic Monkey starts with loads of energy and gets distracted about 5 minutes into it and runs off covered in material and glue. Big Monkey usually lasts 10 more minutes before he has the urge to draw something, so I tend to finish it on my own. I don’t mind. I find it therapeutic, except the cleaning. I don’t like the cleaning part…

MollyMooCrafts has an abundance of amazing craft projects to make with the kids but I find this tree garland particularly adorable, don’t you think?

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - MollyMoo Crafts

I find the colors in these decorations by Picklebums very uplifting and they would bring an extra personal touch to any tree.

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - Picklebums

The amazing Martha Steward has the most beautiful place setting ever, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from her now, would we?

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - MARTHA STEWART

Pompoms. Who doesn’t love pompoms? They are so whimsical! And Northstory has a such fun way to make them look delightful for Christmas.HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - Northstory

This wreath by That is My Letter would not only make you stand out from your neighbors but it would help you clear out all those fabric bits and pieces that you have in that basket somewhere in your house and you will then be able to buy more!!! or not… 😉

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - That's my letter

These beautiful trees by Beautiful Matters, are easy to make, beautiful and so versatile… a little forest in your house!

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - Beautiful matters

I love, love, love this simple and yet stunning center piece by InspireMeHeather. Did I mention that I love it?

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS Heathers candles

If you are lucky enough to have pine cones in your area, you can make the cutest tree out of them. Yes, you heard me right. Just ask Tapelu2. So cute!!!

HOME-MADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - Adorable-DIY-Christmas-Decorations

So, between all these amazing examples of beautiful and yet easy hand-made Christmas decorations, plus last year’s ones, plus the ones I’ve made on the blog(here, here, here), you have no excuse not to personalize your home-decor during this festive season with your very own hand-made Christmas decorations

Share your projects on #ChaoticChristmas so we can all see them and appreciate them.

Have fun!
Chaotic Itzi

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

DECORATING PUMPKINS, 4 WAYS

I didn’t grow up celebrating Halloween. It is not something that was big in Spain when I was a child but since moving to Ireland and having children, Halloween seems to be getting bigger and bigger in my house. More decorations, more lights, more sweets. Bigger is better according to my kids and I kind of agree. I usually find myself buying bags of sweets with my shopping, keeping black pieces of paper so we can make bats to hang around the house and planning costumes from about mid September onward. We can safely say that I have totally embraced this Irish pagan festival.

Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways

When it comes to the traditional Halloween pumpkin, I usually carve it.  The problem is that if you submit to peer pressure from the kids and carve it few days in advance, the pumpkin gets a bit yucky by the time Halloween comes so my options were to hide the pumpkins or to decorate them in a different way to avoid the unwanted pumpkin soup…

1. PAINT IT

The main advantage of this way of decorating your pumpkins, is that you can literally use anything you have around in your house. Any color and any type of paint as it is not something you are going to keep long-term. Painting the pumpkin will also help disguise any ugly or brown parts that the pumpkin may have.
Paint it all or just a little bit. You choose how much work you want to take on.

Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 waysOrganising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways

2. DRESS IT UP

So many ways you can dress the pumpkin up: cut out shapes, bandages, buttons, bows, washi tape… Make it as cute or as scary as you want. It’s Halloween, anything goes really….
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 3 ways
3. CARVE IT

Carving is the most traditional and popular way of decorating pumpkins around this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean that carving has to be boring. You can have funny, scary, cute and evil faces. You don’t have to limit yourself to carving faces. You can go for different designs, it all depends how handy you are with the knife.
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
4. DRILL IT

Drilling a pumpkin is a similar technique to carving in that you still need to empty the pumpkin and put a light inside, but the drilling gives the pumpkin a more contemporary and a slightly grown up look. More sophisticated, maybe?

Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways
Organising Chaos - Decorate pumpkin: 4 ways

What are your plans for Halloween? Have you bought your pumpkin?

Share your designs and plans with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag
#chaoticpumpkin #chaotichalloween

Chaotic Itzi

Craftsy

UPDATING FRUIT BOXES

When we were planning our 20 year anniversary, Mr B and I realized that at least 1/3 of our guests would be children. Most of our friends and family are at the similar stage in life as us, with kids, and we wanted to make sure that the party was very inclusive and that both parents and kids would have a great time.
Kid's area at the party
I decided to set up an area for the kids. I organised some entertainment for them and I set up a little table for them to help themselves and to have fun. As the table was very small, I needed more surface in which to put food and drinks as well as carry them from the house to the field where the party was held.
Updating a fruit box to use as a tray
I decided to use some fruit boxes that my local fruit shop kindly donated. I love the wood mixed with the different designs and colors in the fruit boxes but I also wanted to personalize them and also to make them fit into my design scheme.

I used some paint to color the sides of the boxes in some of them as some of the designs weren’t to my taste.  I used washi tape to decorate the sides of the box.
Updating a fruit box with washi tape
Updating a fruit box to use as a tray 3
I covered the bottom of the box with some pretty paper matching the washi tape. It looks pretty, don’t you think?
Updating a fruit box to use as a tray
They were extremely useful on the day to carry food and beverages around and to display food. It also helped us in the tidying up the following day. I am currently using them in my room (I have glued some felt at the bottom of the box to avoid scratching the shelves).
Updating a fruit box to use as a tray
I love the idea of extending the life of something that has already done a great job. It now looks prettier and it will last for another good few years. Up-cycling at its best!
Updating a fruit box with washi tape
Have you up-cycled anything recently?
Chaotic Itzi

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