Friday, January 10, 2020

How to speed clean your kitchen

Our kitchen is the heart of our home. We’re in there a lot every day, chatting while we bake, make coffee, cook, prep school lunches, so the kitchen always needs some cleaning!

Like most busy mums, I’m a fan of quick cleaning tips - I don’t want cleaning the kitchen to take all night!

If you’re the same and you’d like a quick and easy way to clean your kitchen when you’re short on time or just tired after a long day, follow my speed cleaning steps below!

The truth about Speed Cleaning.

Here's the most important thing to remember about speed cleaning: There's no magic involved. Speed cleaning is really just about having a pattern to follow that prioritises tasks so that everything is done efficiently. That's what makes the job easier, which is why it can be done faster.

So you want to to look at the most effective way to do it, at the most ideal time, in order to make it quick and easy.

When should you clean your kitchen?

The best time to clean your kitchen is as you are cooking, but let’s face it, that’s not always easy (especially at witching hour when everyone’s starving and cranky).

So let’s focus on the easiest time to clean instead, which is right after the meal is finished, before you have a chance to sit back and relax.

I know, it’s a little sucky, having to clean up right after dinner, but it’s so much easier because you haven’t slipped into comfy mode quite yet, and the kids are all happy because their tummies are full - so you should have a clear 20 minute window without interruptions to get it done quickly and easily.

Here’s my step by step guide to speed clean your kitchen the easy way:

Click here to download your checklist

Step 1. Food away
Step 2. Fill pots and pans to soak
Step 3. Rubbish into bins
Step 4. Collect dirty dishes
Step 5. Wipe down counters
Step 6. Now let’s get those dishes done!

If you have a dishwasher:
  • Bowls and plates at the bottom
  • Cutlery in the basket
  • Glasses and cups on the top rack
  • Add detergent / dishwashing tab and you’re done!

If you don’t have a dishwasher (or you have more dishes than will fit in it):
  • Fill your sink and add dishwashing liquid
  • Wash in this order to keep your water as clean and make it last longer:
  • Glasses
  • Cups
  • Drink bottles
  • Mugs
  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Chopping boards
  • Containers
  • Tools (grater etc)
  • Pots & Pans

Step 7. Sweep the floor
Step 8. Empty the rubbish bins if they are full
Step 9. Go enjoy your life - you’re done!

Want to make cleaning your kitchen even easier? Stick this printable on your fridge and tell your kids to do it!

Clean Kitchen Checklist

And here's how I like to make speed cleaning the kitchen more enjoyable:
  • Set a timer for 20 mins and see if you can beat your best time
  • Add music! I love this Spotify playlist for household chores

What's your favourite kitchen cleaning tip?

x Marissa

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Diary feature: Collins Debden 2020

If you're looking for a stylish, easy to use diary for 2020, you'll love the new diaries from Collins Debden!

Today I'm sharing 3 of my favourites from the collection - the Metropolitan Glasgow B6 week to view, the Vanguard A5 week to view, and the Diva 257 x 182 week to view in white.

Watch the video walkthrough below or keep reading for photos and descriptions!

Metropolitan Glasgow B6 week to view

The Glasgow is a weekly planner made with smooth Japanese paper and a sturdy cover. It's lovey to touch and still feels durable enough to keep in your handbag without worrying about ruining it. 

It's handy to take out and about with you and is perfect for the mum on the go that needs to write things down and not worry about remembering appointments, to do's and everything else! I love the elastic closure for keeping it all together in my bag.

It has 2 ribbon place holders, so you can open it up easily to the week you're living in and save another page at the same time - lots of helpful pages are included like goal trackers, yearly planners, etc.

I love the expandable pocket in the back - handy for keeping school notes, kids party invites, or anything else that normally ends up at the bottom of my bag! Plus it's so easy to write in because it lays flat when you open it.

The layout is vertical week to view with enough space to fit your daily needs.

It has so many extra helpful pages too! Monthly goal trackers, conversion chart, even an international apparel sizing guide which is handy when you're shopping for presents!

Vanguard A5 week to view

The Vanguard is gorgeous! 

It's navy, with copper foil on the cover and edging, a ribbon marker to hold your place, and an expandable inner pocket handy to hold notes.

The pages inside are beautiful, and it has all the features of the Glasgow in terms of page types and space for writing.

Diva 257 x 182 week to view

My favourite is the Diva week to view in white! 

It has a beautiful suede velvet cover and comes with gold metal inlay and gilt edging, plus the paper quality is lovely. 

There is SO much room inside on the week to view pages and it breaks the day down hour by hour, with a tonne of notes pages for journalling, lists or whatever you need at the back AND a year planner for 2021 as well!

Looks like I'm all set for an organised year!

What's your favourite planner or diary?

x Mrarissa

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Cozy Christmas touches in our home

It's December! I love the holiday season and all the extra warmth and cheer it brings.

End of year dinners, parties, delicious food and treats, watching Christmas movies with my family, driving around to see Christmas lights in the neighbourhood... I pretty much love the whole thing.

The only thing I don't love? Holiday season overwhelm.

It's easy to get caught up in the rush of To Do's, feeling like we are behind compared to others with our Christmas prep, gift wrapping, decorations..

And while I love dinners and parties, I'm still quite an introvert, and need plenty of opportunities to recharge in a calmer way.

I want a haven to escape to and relax in.

So for our house, instead of lots of bright, glittery decorations, I prefer to just sprinkle a little holiday warmth and cheer throughout my home.

Simple little touches that make me feel cosy and rested :)

Let's take a little tour of my home, and I'll show you what I mean.

Lounge room

This is my favourite piece in our home this year. It's a beautiful wooden tray with small bowls in it, filled with nuts and gold chocolate coins, and the most delicious smelling candle you will ever come across!

The Elume Christmas candle is vanilla and nutmeg scented and it is divine. It's aromatic and Christmassy without being overpowering, and it looks so pretty..

After a busy day, once the kids go to bed, I light the candle, add a glass of red wine to the tray and take the whole thing in with me when I go to have a loooong bubble bath.

It's so relaxing :)

Onto the rest of the house!

Kids bedrooms 

My kids are older so I can't take over their bedrooms anymore.. so I compromise by decorating just one dresser top and keeping it simple!

I put a Christmas shirt on one of their toys, add a couple of Christmas books and some extra baubles in a glass.. and we're done! 

Very cute, very easy.


For the kitchen, I swap out our usual fruit bowl for a Christmas decorated one, and keep the red KitchenAid stand mixer on the counter for the pop of Christmas colour.

Next, I prop up a cookbook with our recipe holder and open it to a cute page with Christmas baking pictures.

Oh and I swap out the tea towels for red gingham ones - but I can't show you that photo because I forgot to clean my oven  before writing this blog post ;)


Okay fine, we've all done it! Here it is:

We have a few other little sprinkles of Christmas throughout the house that you can see in today's YouTube video - Click below to watch!

I'd love to hear about your Christmas decor - do you go all out glitz and glam, or do you prefer a cosier feel?

x Marissa

Thank you to candles2go for providing the beautiful elume candle for our cosy Christmas!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Simple Carrot Cake (slow cooker or oven)

This my absolute favourite carrot cake recipe!

It's a hit with the kids, even though neither of them are carrot fans in general. But I guess if you add a little sugar, everything becomes more appealing! 

My hacks for making this carrot cake kid friendly are:

* Keep it simple - no need to for two layers with frosting in the middle. This cake is moist enough to do without it.

* Don't bother with cream cheese frosting - most kids I've served this to aren't into it. Adults, on the other hand, love it! But for kids, a simple lemon glaze works beautifully with this cake, and if you don't have any icing mixture handy, leave it off entirely and just serve each piece of cake with Nutella on it. Trust me, it's amazing!

Simple Carrot Cake recipe (instructions for both slow cooker and oven):
  • 1 cup grated carrots - packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Grate carrots on fine grater setting. Put aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar, eggs, water and oil together. You can di it by hand, or use s stand mixer. I love this one
  3. Add the flour, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon. 
  4. Mix until just combined
  5. Stir in the grated carrots by hand or on low setting, again until just combined

If using slow cooker:
  • Place your silicone mould into the slow cooker and add 1cm water around it
  • Pour the batter into your mould
  • Place a tea towel over the top of the slow cooker and under the lid (so the condensation won’t be an issue)
  • Cook 3-4 hours (check with a skewer when you think it’s done - if it comes out clean, it’s ready)
  • Remove the silicone mold from the slow cooker, place on cooling rack and leave for 15 minutes to cool before removing the cake

If using oven:
  • Set oven to 180C (350F)
  • Pour into 2 round tins
  • Bake for 35-45 min
  • Check with skewer to make sure it’s ready
  • Leave to cool for 15 mins before turning cakes out

    Simple Lemon Glaze:
    • Put a cup of icing mixture into a small bowl
    • Squeeze 1/4 lemon into bowl and mix
    • Add water until desired consistency
    • Spread on top of cooled cake

    Let me know if you try this cake at your house!

    x Marissa

    Linking up with..

    Tuesdays @ Our Home

    Monday, October 7, 2019

    6 easy ways to reduce dust in your home

    Is the dust in your home driving you crazy?
    I recently read that more than 60% of our house dust originates outdoors and is trapped in when people enter into your doorway. The rest is made partly of material fibres from our carpets and our furniture and partly from our dead skin cells. Yuck!
    I personally prefer less dead skin particles floating around my home and in case you're the same, I've got six tips that are going to help you reduce your dust in your home!

    Tip number one is to remove unnecessary items from your home. Yep, I'm an organiser, so I'm going to tell you to declutter. Once these things are gone, they can't sit around collecting dust anymore. That means your knickknacks, toys that don't get played with, cookbooks you never use.. it's time for them to go.

    Tip number two is NOBODY can wear shoes inside anymore.
    Okay, that's a little aggressive but it's the quickest, easiest way to stop extra dust and dirt from coming in!

    BUT, if you follow Fly Lady and your shoes go on when you get ready in the morning person, that's still okay. If you can't bear to make people go barefoot in your house, that's okay too. A really good quality doormat outside your door is going to help you reduce the amount of dust and dirt particles that get trapped in when people enter your home.

    Tip number three is to change your bedding and your towels weekly. Pick a day of the week for the bedding. Pick a day of the week for your towels. I like Mondays for towels and Tuesdays for bedding, because that's after the weekend which is when my kids tend to become the messiest.

    Tip number four is to use a damp microfibre cloth to dust with, rather than a feather duster. Now a feather duster is cute and easy and I'm not saying don't use one at all.. but if you have a lot of dust, you'll most likely find it moves the dust around rather than remove it effectively. A damp cloth is not as fun to use, and you do have to rinse it out a few times (or use multiple cloths), but if your dusting job is a heavy one, it really really works much better.

    Tip number five is to keep your wardrobe as organised as possible. Wardrobes are really big dust collectors. That's where we hide our clutter. That's where we put things that we don't want the kids to have. That's where we stash our secret chocolate ;)
    Our wardrobes are full of dust that just settles in around our stuff, and every time you open your wardrobe door, that's when that dust has an opportunity to move around and spread through the bedroom. Even small amounts of dust move a lot, so keep those wardrobes as clean, clear and organised as possible.

    Tip number six is to use my really simple four step cleaning method.
    1. Put your rubbish out.
    2. Put everything away.
    3. Wipe down your services from top to bottom. From the highest point in your room, like the top of your window sill, doorways, ceiling fans.. Start there and then wipe down all the surfaces going down in height.
    4. Now all you have to do is take care of your floors with vacuuming, sweeping or mopping.

    Do it in that order and you won't have a dust problem!
    Now if you have young kids or toddlers running around your home while you're trying to clean it, I totally get that it's hard to clean your house from top to bottom in one go.

    In my Less Mess, Less Stress and More Calm program we talk about how to fit those four steps in to an everyday regular busy life. If you want to check it out and get $20 off the program, use the link above.

    That's it! Six simple steps to help you reduce the dust in your house.
    Let mw know if you have any other tips!

    x Marissa