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


    Tuesday, September 3, 2019

    Simple Spring Cleaning for Busy Mothers

    It's Spring here in Australia!

    The time of year when most of us busy mums think we should really be spring cleaning.. but to be honest, there's not a lot of motivation to do it.

    We're already busy.

    We just had Fathers Day. It's getting closer and closer to the end of the year. Halloween is coming soon. Christmas prep.

    Not to mention every day life.

    We're working, we have family stuff on. Many, many loads of laundry to get through.

    BUT it would be nice to have a fresh clean house at this time of year... so we're doing it in a simpler way!

    If you wish spring cleaning was easier, grab our Simple Spring Cleaning cheat sheet and work your way through it with us on Facebook!

    Get your copy here!

    We'll go step by step through the checklist and tackle the stuff that normally feels too hard.

    Here's to a simpler Spring!

    x Marissa

    Tuesday, August 27, 2019

    5 Things Organised Mums Never Leave Home Without

    Not long ago, I asked on the Beautifully Organised Mums Facebook page, "What's one thing you never leave home without?"
    "Kids, keys and phone" were the top 3 answers and they are SO true!

    You're basically winning at mum life if you remember those.

    Want to make your life even easier?

    Here are my other faves if you're looking to step up your organised mum status a notch!

    1. Keep cup.

    Put whatever you want in here - coffee, tea, wine (just kidding!), even water. You'll save a ton of money when you're out & about and you'll have something to cling on to for dear life when the kids are driving you crazy. Take it empty if you have to, you can buy your coffee on the go and save the planet at the same time.

    2. Sunglasses.

    The ultimate accessory. It won't matter what your hair looks like or whether you have make up on or not if you're wearing a pair that makes you look and feel put together. Don't worry about trends - invest in a good quality pair that suits you and will last for years. I've had the same Oroton ones for 13 years now and they are still the best part of my outfit every day.

    3. Water bottles.

    Yes, bring one for you (if you don't use your keep cup for it as mentioned above). But even more importantly, make sure each child has one and that they CARRY IT THEMSELVES.

    Seriously, you will get out of the car and immediately you will hear "I'M THIRSTY" whines followed by requests for soft drinks, milkshakes, juice, slurpees.. anything except water. Which, if you bring it from home, is FREE. and doesn't stain if spilled on anyone's shirt.

    If the kids complain their water bottle is too heavy, just fill it halway. You can refill on the go at any tap. They'll be fine and you'll save cash.

    4. Snacks.

    This is pretty much the same advice as the point above. Pack snacks into your kids' bags and you'll save money.. plus you'll be prepared for ANY unexpected delays. Car breaks down? No problem, you have snacks. Tired, cranky kids? No problem, they love snacks. You get hungry? No problem, eat some of their snacks.
    Keep it simple. Fruit and biscuits will work, or a sandwich. Add an ice pack if you want to bring cheese, yoghurt etc.

    5. Tissues or hankies.

    andindadesignbp on Etsy

    I swear, the ONE time you leave without them, one of the kids will sneeze and it will go EVERYWHERE (gross). Or someone will cry. Or hurt themselves. Or you'll spill something on yourself. I prefer hankies for reducing waste. At this point most people go "Ew! But they are disgusting to wash!" To be honest, with the amount of times I've seen kids wipe their nose on their sleeve, this doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Sleeves wash up fine. So do hankies. But if you're not ready for that yet, tissues are fine.

    6. BONUS! Phone charger or battery pack.

    Because let's be honest, whenever your phone runs out of battery, that's when school calls to say your kid needs to be picked up early.
    Put an extra (cheap) phone charger in your handbag AND one in your car so you're not wasting time and energy moving it from one place to another.


    ** What would you never leave home without? Tell us on Facebook!**

    x Marissa

    P.S. This post contains an Etsy affiliate link - if you purchase via my link, I may receive a small commission