May 16, 2015

Sprucing Up With Spotlight: THE PANTRY.

I was provided with a Spotlight gift voucher for the purpose of the 'Sprucing Up With Spotlight' series. 

I know that I am not the only person out there who has searched 'organised pantry' on Pinterest, only to pin a photo and never try to replicate it.  That's pretty much the story of my life when it comes to Pinterest actually.

The last time that I blogged about my pantry, I was newly pregnant and cleaned the cupboard whilst distracting myself from the fact that I was going to farewell my brother on his deployment to Afghanistan in less than 24 hours time. 

Anyway, I am going to be doing a series of posts titled 'Sprucing Up With Spotlight' which will see me re-organise and create things around the house using products bought from Spotlight. 

The first installment of the series, in case you couldn't tell by the title, is tackling the pantry. 

Don't get me wrong, it's not a beautiful Pinterest pantry even after I finished it, but its a lot clearer and more functional now thankfully. 

Up until now, my pantry has pretty much been one of those pantries where it's an absolute mess and you take the risk of things falling on your head when you open the doors, but of course I know where everything is located.

If asked 'where is the cornflour?' I could say, third shelf, on the left, behind the big blue flour, for example.


I headed to the new Spotlight store in Mentone, late on a Thursday night, in search of anything that would aid me in the organisation of my ridiculous pantry. 

Well, I hit the jack pot. Decor Food Storage products were all 50% off. I couldn't believe my luck.
I had been debating as to whether to get Decor or Sistema but clearly my choice was made for me, at 50% off how could I resist?

The shelves had clearly already been ransacked in the 48 hours that the store had been open for, but I managed to fill my trolley surprisingly quickly. I think that I had more fun than a kid in a candy store.


I kept apologising to the lady behind the counter as she had to scan all of the containers but she was as excited about the sale as I was. 

When I left Spotlight with a trolley full of plastics, the security guard pulled me aside and asked me what on earth was I planning to do with them all. I told him that I was organising my pantry and he wished me luck. 


Not a bad haul, not at all. 

I went in blind, just guessing what sizes I would need and how many and used nearly all of them. 

THE BEFORE

I have 5 shelves which are a decent width and quite deep, plus 3 drawers under the pantry which I think are meant to be used for pantry items but instead are filled with junk. 

As you can see, the only shelf which has any variety of order is the booze shelf. We have a lot more alcohol in a cupboard in the garage. I would love to have a giant bar trolley set up but that's really not going to happen whilst we have small children rampaging around the house.  
 

I can't believe that I have only just realised that my shelves can be taken out and moved to different heights. 
Ergh. This would have solved so many problems, such as the fact that the oils and pasta containers could only fit on the bottom shelf.

Oh well, no point whining about it now I suppose. What's done is done.



I didn't want a permanent label situation in case I need to swap and change the contents of the tubs as time goes on. I definitely didn't want to use an old school label maker either. Those things suck. 


I instead chose 2 packs of round kraft labels in two different sizes as they looked basic yet neat and stuck them on with double sided tape. 
Whilst looking, the announcement that the store would be closing in 10 minutes came over the speaker and I panicked and grabbed whatever I could but I am happy with my choice.


Reminder: All of these Decor items are currently HALF PRICE at Spotlight until Sunday 31 May 2015 in store and online. I've linked to the items below.

Melbourne girls, the Mentone store didn't have much stock left but the Frankston store was still fully packed. 


AFTER

Ahhh. So much space. 

I literally had 6 bags that were quarter full of plain flour. (I just typed flower. It must be late.) It felt so good to condense them into one tub.

The pantry crap that I rarely use (pearl barley etc) has been demoted to behind the baking shelves storage containers. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out as I know that the day will come where I need it.


Top shelf: 
Booze, booze and more booze. 

Second Shelf: 
The second shelf houses majority of my small baking items and I have put my bi-carb, caster sugar, baking chocolate, raw sugar, psyllium husk, coconut, rolled oats, corn flour and icing sugar into the new containers.

Decor Tellfresh Oblong Container 250 mL
Decor Tellfresh Stack Store & Pour Container 1.2 L
Decor Match-ups Oblong Container 2 L
Decor Match-ups Oblong Container 900 mL (these are great for taking lunch to work in your handbag as they are seriously slim line yet still hold so much)
Decor Match-ups Tall Oblong Container 1.75 L
Decor Tellfresh Square Container 1.25 L

Third Shelf:
I know that this shelf looks like it would have wasted space by purely filling it up with containers, but that's really not true. I feel like this is my perfect shelf. No clutter, everything in it's safe little home.

This shelf has my chickpea flour, plain wholemeal flour, SR flour, white sugar, plain flour, almond meal and brown sugar in the containers.  It's nice being able to know what needs to be added to my shopping list at a glance. I'm looking at you, almond meal. 

Decor Match-ups Tall Oblong Container 3L 
Decor Match-ups Tall Oblong Container 4.5L
Decor Match-ups Oblong Container 2 L


Fourth Shelf:
This is the kind of shelf that you can't put everything in containers, even though you wish you could. 
Side note: How good are Arnotts Caramel Crowns?

I also used these pantry shelves at the rear to elevate my cans that are otherwise never seen and therefore, never used. It turns out that the cocktail onions expired two years ago though... My bad.

The pantry shelves were only $3 and would be great for spices.

L-R: 
Decor Tellfresh Oblong 250ml
Decor Match Up 2L
Decor Match Up Oblong 800ml
Decor Tellfresh Oblong 250ml
Decor Match Up 2L
Decor Tellfresh Stack & Store 1.2L

Fifth Shelf:
I really did contemplate as to whether or not to buy cereal containers and for some reason I decided not to so I am going to have to go back to Spotlight and rectify that issue ASAP. 

I'm one of those annoying people who never fold over the cereal bag properly, resulting in stale cereal so why on earth would I not have gotten them?! 

I did buy the Decor Tellfresh Pasta Storer 1.5L though, and Nelly has been carrying it around the house shaking it like a maraca so it's on the fast track to moving to a higher shelf.  

The clean out has definitely shown me that I have way too many bottles of chili sauce, despite not eating any foods that contain chili.  


I've started to fill Mason Preserving Jars with the biscuit mixes that I use often so that I always have something to quickly rustle up if guests turn up unannounced. I've simply stuck a list with the wet ingredients that need to be added and baking time on the lid.

Again, thank you Pinterest for the idea. Although, once again - mine is not as pretty or Pinterest worthy.



I also picked up these sunny yellow chair pads, which were part of the buy 2 get one free promotion but do you think that I remembered to choose another cushion to get free? Of course not!  

They match the sad looking fruit bowl which only seems to contain lemons. 

We really need to add another stool to our bench, but the thought of returning to Ikea with Nelly in tow gives me cold chills.

My spices are kept in the cupboard above and to the right of the stove top so that they are always in easy reach and don't take up valuable space in the pantry. 

It took me about an hour to wash and dry all of the containers (and peeling off the stickers was easy thank goodness) and then another two hours to remove everything, clean the pantry, bin the expired crap and then re-home stuff into the containers. 

I won't lie to you, when I opened the pantry this morning I may have sighed from happiness.

It's the small things, right? 


We eat a lot of freshly prepared meals and lot's of Alkaline recipes so my pantry doesn't contain anywhere near as many canned and packet foods as it used to. 

What are your best tips to organising a pantry or fridge? Do you have a butlers pantry? I wish that I did!

May 8, 2015

What is your best weight?

How do you determine your best weight?

The weight where you feel you are physically and mentally at your best?

A few months back, I looked in the mirror and saw my chest bones for the first time when I got out of the shower and reached up to secure a towel around my head. I didn't like it. Touching them made me feel physically ill.

I didn't have any other bones showing, just these ones for the first time ever and it creeped me out. The rest of me was a normal weight, but since having Nelly two years ago, my body changes in ways that it didn't before - and this is all normal but it does take a while to get used to it. 


The Husband has been coming home with Aero bars for me every night. I'm not even kidding. He denies trying to fatten me up, instead saying that he gets them for me because I like them, but I'm on to him.
He can deny this all he likes! And yes, I definitely eat them as he is right, I do love a good mint aero bar. Who doesn't?

I made an effort to eat more carbs, and more often, and I put on 2 kilos and feel better. I'm not sure that anybody else would notice the 2kg difference, but I did. I now know what weight I don't like on myself.

A strange vein popped out in my forehead when I smiled, 2 kilos lighter. I found myself madly googling 'ugly vein in forehead'. Go on, go and google it if you don't know what I'm talking about.
My unlikely vein sisters included Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts.
Was this related to my weight? I'm not sure but that's my suspicion as it's gone now. Thank goodness.


After having Nelly, I was delightfully chubby, because I really liked eating custard croissants when I was pregnant, (blog post about that HERE: spoiler, I gained 40kg when pregnant!!) and it took a good year, maybe a bit more, to be able to wear my old clothes again.

Two years on, and I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant.

However, my body has changed a lot.

My waist will never get back to what it used to be, my bum is flatter (come on squats, work for me), my boobs are smaller and my old clothes fit me differently. It doesn't matter what the scales say, as your body just changes so much from physically growing a human being.

I know that not everybody experiences these changes, but I sure did. 



I still get emails from readers who are asking for my advice on how to lose their baby weight and could I tell them my experiences on how your body changes after giving birth.
Some of these emails come new mothers who are still in the hospital after having their babies. I kid you not. Please, don't think about your weight, just enjoy that tiny bundle of cuteness and take advantage of the hospital food whilst you can (if you're in private that is, I've heard that public have mediocre food).


I decided to write this post as my mums neighbour recently asked me if I eat when I declined a piece of traditional italian cake at 10am. She didn't like my response of "yes." and then asked my mum if I eat, who of course said yes, that I eat like a horse. I ended up telling her that I just didn't like that sort of cake.

If an old European woman tells you that you're looking slim, it's not a compliment. Ha. 


I don't know why people think it is normal, or okay, to comment on someone elses weight.

I'm not talking about a "Hey girlllll, you're looking GOOD!" comment - we all love those.

I'm talking about a "You're very small. DO YOU EAT?????" comment which is just plain rude.

Anyway, rambling aside - I'm not sure what the point of this post was anymore, but how do you determine your best weight?

Clothes that fit you?
The scales?
Measurements?
How you feel?
What other people say?

May 7, 2015

Balayage at Maison Tsumiki


Last week I had the pleasure of having my hair cut and coloured by Luna at Maison Tsumiki.

I last had my hair cut and coloured in January elsewhere, but had found that it was a bit too streaky to be able to wear my hair straight. It looked fantastic when my hair was curled or wavy, but if I am in a hurry then I tend to just straighten my hair.

I had an ideal child-free day, out exploring the Big Smoke.

Firstly, I caught the train to the city, enjoying The Girl In Times Square by Paullina Simons (such a good book by the way) which I bought that morning for $2 at an opp shop near the station once I realised that I had forgotten my book. 

The day pretty much started with pizza, and ended with pizza. I met my dad for lunch at Ca De Vin where I demolished a margarita pizza that was as big as my torso. I don't know how I did it, but I did.

We people watched for an hour until dad had to get back to work.


I then wandered around Emporium for awhile, window shopping without the burden of a child who hates shopping yet enjoys throwing things from her pram and whining the whole time.

Bliss. Bliss, I tell you. Bliss.


My appointment with Luna for balayage correction began at 2PM.

THE BEFORE




To start with, she gave me a much needed trim with long layers and the hair around my face was cut shorter to frame the face and then dyed over the existing colour that remained.

After this colour had set, she began her balayage hand painting.

THE PROCESS


Luna also treated my hair with a hand mixed Shu Uemura treatment which worked wonders for my hair.

It  feels so much softer and far shinier after the treatment, I wish that I could use it once a week!!






THE AFTER 

After about 3 hours, my hair was finished and ready to be styled.

I didn't want to look at the colour until it was dry, and couldn't resist asking Luna if she was sure that it wasn't streaky still. I should know better than that, Luna is the hair goddess.  


This photo is taken with the flash on so that you can see the colour in more detail, but in real life it is more subtle - such as the photo taken below with no flash. 


As you can see, my hair now has more of a subtle balayage. 

It is still light but with warmer sandy beige blonde tones blended throughout.


 Beware of wasabi peas in the snack mixture. I cannot handle a wasabi pea!



A three hour salon visit + talking with adults + being pampered + reading a good book = paradise!

After my appointment, I loitered around Emporium for awhile longer and then headed to Tazio Pizzeria on Flinders Lane for my friend Kitty's birthday.  I wasn't kidding when I told you that the day revolved around pizza.

Thank you to Luna for taking these photos for me! If anyone is looking for a Hair Goddess to enter their lives, look no further.

Luna is the fashion director at Maison Tsumiki, Emporium.

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