Beautifully Organised: December 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I'll be taking a break until Jan 3 so I'm just popping in to say

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I'll still pop into Facebook and Twitter over the Christmas & New Year break so make sure to visit there if you'd like to chat & share your ideas on living a calm, organised lifestyle!

Thank you all so much for your support over the last few months!

Looking forward to a wonderful 2012 :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How To: Organised Eating

I get asked a lot if being organised can apply to areas of life outside the house or office. My answer? Absolutely.

Organised living is about making life easier. This applies to anything - including how you eat.

Has this happened to you?
  • You're too busy to have breakfast so you skip it and go hungry, or pick up something take away (and expensive) while you are on the way to work / school / the shops
  • You're flustered trying to get sandwiches made for lunch while your toddler throws a tantrum because it's taking to long and she's hungry
  • You don't have the ingredients for dinner and after a long day, you just want to relax so you pick up some expensive take away
  • You want to choose healthier snack options but it just takes too long to get them ready when you can just grab a chocolate bar or muesli bar or chips instead
  • You throw out fruit and vegetables weekly because you don't get a chance to use them before they go off
Well it doesn't have to be like that! You can save a whole lot of time and money within a week by doing these 3 things:

1. A little planning and prep work: 
  • Write out a weekly meal plan at the start of the week so you don't have to work out each day what to have for dinner. 
  • Put a post it on the inside of your pantry door and jot down groceries to buy as you think of them.
  • Prepare things in batches and get them done in one go: For example, make a loaf of ham and cheese sandwiches for the week and freeze them.
  • Make your own grab and go snacks: I love the Nobby's Nude Nuts and Trail Mix at the moment so I divide the big pack into handfuls, put each portion in a bag and grab one bag at snack time (they also come in snack sizes if you don't want to divide them yourself). You can try this with watermelon, grapes, cheese and crackers, etc. 
2. Get the family involved:
  • Kids can help more than you think and will often be pleased to be included in meal planning, cooking, washing dishes etc. Even the little ones! I use the 'Children's Jobs - Age appropriate guide' from, you get it for free when you sign up for their newsletter. And if the kids aren't keen, well, you're the boss! Add it to their chores list or reward chart, set the expectation with them that this is part of every day life and follow through daily by reminding them and doing it together :)
3. Keep it Simple:
  • I pack lunches for myself and my girls whether we are going out or not. That way I know everything's ready to eat and I'm not spending half an hour making sandwiches or pureeing vegies at lunchtime, we just open the fridge take out lunch, and eat it.
  • Dinner doesn't have to be elaborate! Don't get me wrong, I love shows like Masterchef and  I'm a huge Nigella fan but you can save that for the weekend. During the week when you're busy, there's nothing wrong with quick, simple dinners. Here's a simple meal plan you can use.
Click here for meal plan

Getting your eating organised will put an end to frantic meal times and give you more time to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with your family. Give it a try and you won't want to go back - and remember, a nice dinner out every now and then isn't a bad thing either - no washing up :)

What do you do to make meal times easier at your house?


  • Top of page Image: Salvatore Vuono /
  • I received a complimentary sample of Nobby's Nude Nuts to review. I love them. The 
    Trail Mix is my favourite :) Everything else mentioned in this post was bought / made by me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Organised Living: Family Command Centre

A Family Command Centre is a place to keep everything you use to run your household. Routines, checklists, school stuff, mail holder, go zone, calendar, notice board - anything that helps you keep track of everyday life.

Having a Family Command Centre will help you automate all the little jobs that, if forgotten, can turn into big headaches - think menu planning, bill paying, week planning, school paperwork, assigning chores, remembering birthday shopping..

There are a number or different ways you can organise this space in your home, but keep 2 things in mind:
  1. It has to be given a permanent home so that you and your family get into the habit of using it and checking it every single day
  2. The way you design it needs to suit your work style and the amount of space you have availble, so you are more likely to use it
A few great examples:

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tucked neatly into a file box
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In a binder
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On the side of the fridge
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personalised bags and blackboard
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Great use of space and colour

 I love all of these, so many great ideas! You can see more on my Family Command Centre Pinterest Board.

Today's post is inspired by Tina Gray's Piquing my Pinterest: It's where we blog about our favourite Pinterest pins from the past week. If you want to know more about Pinterest, you can check out my profile here - and if you need an invite, email me at marissa@beautifullyorganised and I'll send you one).

Click on the picture below for more great Pinterest finds!

Tina Gray {dot} Me


Christmas Planning: Other To Do's

It's Christmas Planning Sunday! 

The last Sunday before the big day :)

If you've been using your Christmas Planner you should be pretty much done with your Christmas preparation, isn't that a nice feeling?

Still, there are often a few things that can't be completed too far in advance and the week before Christmas is the time to do them.

Today's task is to fill out your "Other Christmas To Do's" list.

Jot down anything you haven't done yet - wrapping presents, cooking prep, tidying the house, whatever comes to mind. The key is to write it down today, and leave your list out where you can see it easily.

Leaving it out where you can see it is important for 2 reasons:
  1. So you can add to it easily if you think of anything new
  2. So you can prioritise what needs to be done and tick off jobs as you go
Following your list this week means you can do your last minute preparation smoothly, a little each day, most important things first - no rushing around in a panic.

Then all you need to do is relax and enjoy the Holiday Season :)

My big tip for this page: Put a big, red, easy to see star next to the jobs that are most important - where the world will end if these aren't done by Christmas Eve! For me, it's wrapping presents.. If you tackle them first, the feeling you get when they are done is fabulous, and everything is quicker and easier from then on!

Congratulations - You have now completed this week's task and have taken another step towards a Beautifully Organised Christmas! 


Friday, December 16, 2011

Free Printable - Christmas Reindeer Label

Here's a cute little gift idea for Christmas if you have a LOT of kids to give to and are on a budget:

I found a few different versions of these on Pinterest a couple of years ago and decided to make my own :)

You just print them, cut them out and attach them to snack bags, then into each bag put 8 Maltesers and 1 Allen's Jaffa lolly.

They are gorgeous for a teacher present or as a little stocking stuffer.

Organising Tip: Make up some extras of these in case you forget a present or two this Christmas. When you need them, just fill in the names and you are good to go!

The labels are a little Christmas Printable present for you, so download, print & use as many as you want for free! 

"Reindeer Noses" Labels

Click here to download the labels

Please share this freebie with your friends by clicking on the Facebook or Twitter button below - they might like it too :)


Want to get your whole Christmas organised the easy way AND get the updated version of these labels? Check out the Make Christmas Easy Planner here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Planning: Decorating made easy

It's Christmas Planning Sunday! 

This week is a fun one - we are putting up Christmas decorations - if you haven't already!

It can be one of the nicest days leading up towards Christmas, whether you decorate by yourself or with loved ones - although if the kids are involved, it can get a bit out of hand with everyone wanting to hang the best decorations! Here are a couple of tips to keep it a calm, cosy experience when little ones are involved:
  • Give everyone their own responsibility for something special - hanging the lights, special ornaments, or the angel or star on top of your tree
  • Tidy as you go - put packaging back into the box it came from straight away so there is less clutter to trip on while decorating (today's planner tool below will help with this)
  • Pop some Christmas music on to get in the holiday mood
  • Decorate in the afternoon or evening just before the tidy / bath / bed routine starts - once you turn on the Christmas lights it creates a cosy glow that will encourage slower, more gentle behaviour.
The only page you'll need today from your Christmas Planner is this:

These little cards will save you so much time after Christmas when you are packing your decorations away again :)

As you unpack each box, just jot down which decorations came from it and place the card in the empty box.

Now you don't have to spend ages trying to make them all fit in again when you put them away!

My big tip for this page: When you pack everything away again after Christmas, take the card out and stick it to the side of the box - then next year you can see exactly what's inside without having to rummage through :)

One more thing! If you struggle with tangled Christmas lights every year, trying packing them away like this:
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Congratulations - You have now completed this week's task and have taken another step towards a Beautifully Organised Christmas! 

Please visit again next Sunday for next week's task :)


Pinterest Love: Cute Christmas Ideas

Christmas really has hit beautifully Organised! 

It's my favourite time of year - so happy, so pretty!

Today I'm having a go at the lovely Tina Gray's Piquing my Pinterest: It's where we blog about our favourite Pinterest pins from the past week. If you want to know more about Pinterest, you can check out my profile here - and if you need an invite, email me at marissa@beautifullyorganised and I'll send you one).

My theme this week (of course) is Christmas!

Here are my favourite pins for the week:

Yummy edible gifts you can make at home: Christmas doesn't have to be expensive when you can make adorable little things like these! Add the ingredients to your online grocery shopping and to make it simple as well as cute..

Christmas cupcakes
Christmas Cupcakes
Candy Cane Hot Chocolate - layered hot chocolate in a cone. Beautiful home made gift
Candy Cane Hot Chocolate ingredients layered in a cone

Christmas Craft: A great way to keep your kids entertained in the holiday season - great for family time or to keep them busy while you get your Christmas preparation done!

Christmas Photos
Photobooth Craft
reindeer bookmarks
Reindeer Bookmarks
Christmas coloring pages
Christmas Colouring Pages

You can see more on my Adorable Christmas Pinterest board, and to check out other great Pinterest posts this week, click on Tina's button below!

Tina Gray {dot} Me


Like this post? Check out the 2012 Christmas Planner plus FREE Christmas printables at

Friday, December 9, 2011

My (Organising) Christmas Wishlist

I'm taking a bit of time today to dream about some organising gifts I would love to receive for Christmas..

Nothing wrong with putting it out there - just in case Santa / My Husband / Loved Ones are reading ;)

If you have someone in your life that loves organising and are looking for a gift for them, you may just be inspired by this list!

Gift Wrap Organizer White by Jokari: If I had one of these, I wouldn't have to keep my wrapping paper in a box, and each roll wouldn't get crumpled at the bottom anymore :)

Gift Wrap Organizer White by Jokari
available at Franklin Covey Australia

Howards Storage World Gift Card: Howards is my favourite shop, I could spend hours there (and often do!). You cannot go wrong with a gift card..

available at Howards Storage World

Inner-B Mum Organiser 2012 (In Turquoise Blue!): I have seen nothing but amazing feedback on this product so I'd love to have one for next year.. 

Mum Organiser - 2012
available at Inner-B

Apple iPad 2: Of course I want one - with lots of storage for ebooks and movies :)

FridgePad iPad Kitchen Mount: Genius - I could look up recipes on it and clear out all my recipe book clutter!

FridgePad - FridgePad iPad Mounting System
Available at

Shelves-To-Go: I LOVE quick and easy packing! I'm travelling to Melbourne next year for the Digital Parents Conference** and with this I can unpack in seconds and get partying learning faster. To unpack, you just lift it up out of your suitcase and hang it in your wardrobe - done!

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Available at

Well, I'm off to print out this blog post and leave it on my Husband's pillow ;)

Anything else you think I should put on my list first?

Please Note: I found these items by surfing the internet, so I can't speak for any of the companies about pricing, delivery or warranty details. This post isn't sponsored, it really is my own wish list!

** If you would like to promote  your business or blog by becoming a sponsor of Beautifully Organised for the Digital Parents Conference, please contact me at for our special rates package information.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Planning: Cards and Santa Letters

It's Christmas Planning Sunday!

Open up your Christmas Planner and begin by taking out your Santa letter template:

Whether it's you filling this out or your kids, this is a fun, easy way to write out your letter/s to Santa (If you need more than one, just print out extra from your planner document, or email me for a copy).

Just sit your kiddies down with some crayons / textas / pencils / pens and ask them to fill in the blanks! Be sure to sit with them and give them a hand if they ask. Make it a bit of a family moment with some Christmas music :)

Next up are your Christmas Cards. 

Last week you filled out your list:

Now it's time to set up your production line!

You will need: 
  • Your Christmas Card List
  • A pen
  • Christmas Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • 'Sender' stickers for the back of your envelopes (optional)
If the kids have finished their Santa Letters, now's the time to put them to work for you (added bonus: you can explain that helping Mum is an example of 'being nice' to go on Santa's list!)

Here are some jobs you can assign to your little ones:
  • Sticking stamps on envelopes
  • Putting cards in envelopes (make sure the envelope is addressed first!)
  • Sticking return address labels on back of envelopes
Then all you have to do is write and address them :)

My big tip for this page: You may be doing this task with family or friends, or you may be doing it all by yourself. Either way, enjoy it. Christmas is the time to reflect on happy moments with loved ones. Make your messages personal and thoughtful, and create a little Christmas spirit while you write them with some beautiful music or a Christmas movie playing on your TV in the background. It's a great way to relax for an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon xx

Congratulations - You have now completed this week's task and have taken another step towards a Beautifully Organised Christmas! 

Please visit again next Sunday for next week's task :)


Like this post? Check out the 2012 Christmas Planner plus FREE Christmas printables at