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{Craft} Creative activities with paintchips

When I want to paint a wall I always pick up from the hardware store paint chip colours I like, blu tak them to the wall, everytime I walk past I eliminate 1 or 2.  But then, I end up with a big stack of paint chips.  I have found some really fun and educational ideas […]

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{Craft} Kids handprint painting

Painting your handprint is such a simple and fun acitivity for the kids. I was amazed at how many creative ideas there are. Most of them super easy and so effective. Visit your local newspaper factory and purchase a roll of their paper (last roll cost me $13), then create your own wrapping paper with […]

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5 Boredom Busters for Kids

Boredom Busters for Kids 1. Bead straws to create a necklace or bracelet {image credit} 2.  Create fun drawing with chalk on the footpath {image credit} 3. Create some plant pals {image credit} 4. Play moon tennis, so much fun! {image credit} 5. Cereal box mail, send letters to each other {image credit}  What is your […]

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  • Kate

    When we get bored we make goop! All it is is corn flour, water and food dye. It has the strangest feeling its runny but hard and my son loves it! To add to the experience we get his plastic dinosaurs and he stomps them around in it.ReplyCancel

  • I made my kids ‘I’m bored’ jars. They decorated a biscuit jar but you could use anything, & filled it with boredom buster tasks on note paper. They can only choose 1 per hr & have to do the task. We wrote down things like run around the yard sideways, draw a picture, have an icy pole, clean yr room, cook with mum, about 35 tasks. My kids LOVE them! ReplyCancel

  • Claire Bailey

    I put up a tent in the lounge room and they go camping. Give them a lunch boxed lunch or popcorn and they make themselves up a bed, take in some books, close the curtains and give them a torch and so on. If they are older, let them put the tent up themselves.ReplyCancel

  • Fiona Walker

    We go Geocaching when we get bored and when ever we can – it’s so much fun

  • I am so doing the straw threading and moon tennis, must add those supplies to my shopping list this week! I think both the almost 3yo and 8yo will like them.

    I really want to try geocaching!ReplyCancel

  • Chalk drawing is always a great option and it washes off next time it rains. I really love your plant pals, very cute!ReplyCancel

  • Maree

    I give the kids a cup of water and a fat paintbrush and let them “paint” either on the side of the house if you have a brick house, or on the pavement, rocks, steps etc. Works great in 2 ways, they have fun and they wash they house/walkways etc at the same time and have fun doing it :)ReplyCancel

  • Your Dad

    What we used to do when travelling way before modern technology, was ‘I spy with my little eye ‘ was a subject or object in the car or room and others had to guess what it was ,was fun .ReplyCancel

  • One of the games we would play in the car on a long trip was a word game. Hubby would start by saying a word like ‘cake’ and the next person had to say a word beginning with the last letter like ‘elephant’ the next would maybe be ‘tack’. This game can go on forever. lol The kids would sometimes bring a dictionary to try and stump Dad with words that ended in x or z. Lots of fun and they learned new words too!ReplyCancel

  • Great ideas – shall definitely pinch the straw idea. Just like Maree in your comments, we often get out paintbrushes and water in the backyard. Or a spray bottle or mini water can and water the plants, or blow some bubble. Generally – send them outside!ReplyCancel

  • Leila

    I love straw necklaces, mainly because they are cheap and easy to do and we can always recycle them into another day of threading/beading.
    I recently had some left over macaroni from a meal and added a few drops of food colouring to it in a small clip lock bag, then seeing the excitement of my Mr3 we got another packet out of the cupboard and coloured that in various colours too. Now they can bead with it, create art work via pasting and do various other things.

    Normally when i am looking for boredom busters i go for playdoh, quick simple to make and i can tailor the colours to the children, add glitter when we have it and know that the ingredients are safe if my children eat it.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn

    Where can I find the instructions for the Plant Pals?ReplyCancel

  • brella

    Thanks for the fantastic ideas to keep the kids occupied.

    This is a great little site for printing out huge wall sized maps. The sheets print out in order so it is really easy to put together.

    You might want to add this to your list of websites.


    • Wonderful what a great website, it will help with kids homework in the future that’s for sure!ReplyCancel

{Meal Planning} The best Blueberry Muffins recipe to date

Quick and simple meal plan this week as I had am spending a glorious long weekend away at Airlie Beach. This weeks meal plan don’t forget to link your meal plan up below, or comment letting me know what you plan is for the week…I love seeing new recipes Monday – Salmon and Lemon Pasta Bake Tuesday […]

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{Free Printable} School Holiday Planner

I try to organise a plan before the school holidays begin, pencil in all planned play dates, sleep overs, movie trips.  Then on the other days we are free to relax, bake and do craft activities. Take some time to plan your school holidays, making the most of the time you have to spend with […]

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  • I love the bright colours! Simply not having to rush and having everyone home together is my favourite thing about the holidays!ReplyCancel

  • thank you for doing this.. I usually make one but you just saved me some time.. Thankyou very Much..ReplyCancel

  • Brilliant, love it, its on the wall. Now I just have to think of things to write on it!ReplyCancel

  • Pia

    Holidays. Days. No need for that possessive apostrophe!

    Petra wanted to borrow Pia’s top. She was going on holidays and thought it would be useful for those summery days.

    The only apostrophe required is to attribute ownership of the top, to Pia. Holidays and days are simple plurals, thus no need for apostrophes.

    Examples of plurals- apples, cans, days, weeks, plans, printables.

    These simple punctuation rules are taught in primary school, so I urge you to take a moment to revisit them. 13,000 people are likers on FB- I am sure I am not the only one cringing at these basic gaffs.ReplyCancel

  • [...] Organised Housewife has a very cute and colourful free printable planner so you can keep track of what you are up to this break. I am going to fill ours out with the [...]ReplyCancel

  • what does Pia mean?ReplyCancel

  • Pia

    Elle- she fixed the gaffs, hoorah!ReplyCancel

  • Thank you so much for this Katrina.

    I usually make my own school holiday planner with Boardmaker (the picture communication program) but it was all too much this term. Very grateful to download yours.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Ryder

    Pia, you should have used a comma after Elle’s name, not a hyphen. Perhaps you would consider being more discreet in your grammatical correction and use direct contact instead of a public forum? Just a thought on basic courtesy, also taught in primary school.

    Thank you for the calendar Katrina. I love how you make holiday planning easier :)ReplyCancel

  • Oh dear Pia, lighten up. We can’t all be perfect at everything. As an adult surely you should know this by now. Perhaps directly contacting Katrina would’ve been more polite.ReplyCancel

  • Pia

    We can’t all be good at everything, this is true. However, if someone has a blog that is being read by a large number of readers, don’t you think they could ask someone to correct the obvious child-like errors?
    Anyway, hats off to Katrina, she has taken the feedback on board and reduced the errors, that was the goal :DReplyCancel

  • [...] It was the week without Kevin, which meant a somewhat easy routine with the girls. It was also the last week of the school term and the start of the school holidays…free printable found here… [...]ReplyCancel

{FREE Printable} Aussie Road Trip Games

I am pleased to be able to share this printable I created with you.  These games have made our long road trips lots of fun, makes them concentrate which results in some quiet time, gotta love that.   When the kids start to sound grizzly, this is the perfect time for a new game and take […]

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  • Omg! I am road tripping to qld in 24 days, not that I’m counting!! This is wonderful!!! Thank you x

  • Thank you. My kids are a little bit young for some of the games but they will love the bingo games and i can save the others for next time.ReplyCancel

  • HA! Yesterday I got back from the Gold Coast (I am fom Melb) this would have been handy!! MAN it was a long trip!ReplyCancel

  • love these ideas. How do you play the dot game??ReplyCancel

  • THANY YOU! We are planning a 5hour road trip to Bundaberg next weekend and these will work beautifully.ReplyCancel

  • this is awesome. we are seasoned long-trip travellers but this time will be going with the grandies in their car so needing some extra ideas on top of the DVD player! ta!ReplyCancel

  • We do a lot of travelling and although my kids are young I am accumulating a lot of games/activities for the future. ThanksReplyCancel

  • We are also planning a road trip to the Gold Coast from Sydney(in Nov) but the kiddies are flying up with their Grandparents as a special treat and my hubby and I are driving up…..the games will probably come in handy for us anyway lolReplyCancel

  • Awesome thanks we are doing a long trek to Sydney from vic with 3 kids this will be so usefull!!ReplyCancel

  • Timing is amazing! We are moving from Kadina SA to Toowoomba QLd in a week and will be taking 4 days to get there so this will be great to have for the kidlets!! Thank youReplyCancel

  • Fantastic! Going on a road trip in November, these games will be excellent!ReplyCancel

  • Fantastic! Thanks so much! Its wonderful to have some Aussie travel games!ReplyCancel

  • amanda toyer

    what a great idea! you must be an awesome mum!ReplyCancel

  • Marnie

    Thanks so much – these are cool. Will definitely be trying them out next roadtrip!ReplyCancel

  • [...] we stopped every 2 hours for a run, stretch and driver change.   Their Nintendo DS’s and my roadtrip printables kept them occupied. [...]ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    OMG thank you thank you thank you – I have been looking for something like this for AGES as we do lots of road trips….YAY!!!ReplyCancel

  • Linda

    Thank you! So pleased to find something that uses Australian signs etc.ReplyCancel

  • Yeda66

    We are travelling to the Simpson Desert from Adelaide with a convoy of 3 cars. This will definitely be a huge hit. I’m going to laminate them so they’ll last the whole time we are away.ReplyCancel

  • Kel

    These are fantastic, thanks….great idea to laminate them!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie Anderson

    FANTASTIC IDEA – trying to think how I could adapt them for a 24hr flight to the UK with a 7, 6, 4, and 3 yr old boys by myself (hubby is working). Any ideas would be fantastic, thanks so much :)ReplyCancel

  • [email protected]

    it’s not Free anymore?, can you please edit the post to reflect this otherwise its a little misleadingReplyCancel

  • […] From The Organised Housewife […]ReplyCancel

  • Linda

    Not free anymore boo hoo!ReplyCancel

{QUOTE OF THE DAY} 15th September 2011

{image credit}

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{Free Printable} Packing and Travel Checklist

Packing & Travel Checklist  School holidays are soon upon us in Queensland, many people travelling for holidays.  I have created a packing and travel checklist which will assist you in adding everything you need to your suitcase.   Packing for kids requires a different checklist all together, as they need extra clothes, toys, activities, books, […]

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{Organising} Food can’s in pantry

  This is such a simple and easy idea to store your smaller cans of food in the pantry.  Turn a magazine holder on its side, place bobby pins through the end to stop cans rolling out.  Idea credit:  PBJStories How do you keep all your can’s organised?

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  • What a clever and simple idea that could make such a massive difference in your pantry!!!ReplyCancel

  • I have been looking EVERYWHERE to buy these.. does someone have link as to where I can buy these online?? ThanksReplyCancel

  • Ooh that looks great! ReplyCancel

  • So simple and so clever!!

    I also LOVE the wooden lazy susan’s from Ikea, I have 2 in my pantry, one for my sauces and condiments and another for my baking stuff.

    Sometimes I like to walk into my pantry and just spin them…for fun!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole

    Big W have the metal / wire mag holdersReplyCancel

  • you can get black metal ones at The Reject Shop for $5ReplyCancel

  • Love this idea..I am a total neat freak when it comes to organising my canned foods!!!ReplyCancel

  • [...] end would make a great way to organize canned goods in the pantry. What a brilliantly simple idea! (The Organised Housewife). I am going to use this tip as I start to organize my kitchen in our new [...]ReplyCancel

  • Kat, this idea is fantastic! I’m so excited to try it. We’ve got gazillions of those small cans in our pantry. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Oooooooh love this idea! I have a bunch of magazine holders I could use for this!!!ReplyCancel

  • Belinda

    I really need any hints, tips on organising a whole pantry. I went through my pantry today and have multiple items of a lot of things mainly because they have been pushed to the back so put in on the shopping list. I try and have dedicated shelves for cereals and spreads and another shelf for cooking. The cooking shelf is the worst as packets of flour, coconut, sugar etc all in packets that the contents could spill out if knocked over. I do have some tupperware containers for rice amd sugar which I find really good. If you have any other pantry organising threads of thinking of doing one that would be great. ReplyCancel

    • Aarti

      I bought a lot of little pantry storage baskety things from Howards (even some normal little ones from BigW etc, Starmaid or whatever they are called) and use 1 for dried fruits/nuts, 1 for recipe mixes (with a use by date within 3 months – the others are in another basket behind to stop me from chucking out gone off ones a year later!) Another basket for treats like jellies etc, a big one for bags of chips, cookies etc, one for hot drinks (coffees, milkshake powder etc) and so on. Very easy to find things now. As for flours, sugars etc, things that will spill, everything in its own tupperware/container.ReplyCancel

  • LOVE this idea! At the moment the tins get stacked 3-high in places, and if there’s an assortment and I’m pushed for space I sometimes have to pull them all down to see what we’re low on. Wonder whether I can find magazine racks that are wide enough for standard 425g tins.

    Do you know of any?ReplyCancel

  • Theresa

    I use soft drink can dispensers for some of my tins :)ReplyCancel

  • oy

    I organise my apostrophes so they don’t wind up in the wrong places. It’s “cans”, not “can’s”.ReplyCancel

  • ECPeto

    Great idea! I went to Bunnings recently and bought a couple of can holders. They were only $4 and work a treat.ReplyCancel

{Meal Planning} Spaghetti with Capsicum and Haloumi

Pantry Raid Challenge!!! 1 day each month I’m going to challenge you to a PANTRY RAID!  You need to create your meal plan using items from your pantry.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget the can’s of vegetables or the pasta sauce in the back of the pantry.  So I challenge you pick 4 items from […]

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  • I “raid” every week, I can feed a family of 5 on $160 a week and we only eat healthy foods…… forget mince or snags, they arent even in the menu ever! Lots of thai infulence here . its heatlhy, its cheap and snazzy!!ReplyCancel

  • Great l am up for this one …. My miss 15 challenged me to this about a month ago and l wasn’t allowed to buy anything and I was very surprised as to what we made and the new creations as my pantry and freezer were well stocked .ReplyCancel

  • Maree

    We always have our pantry very well stocked because we live an hour from a shop. Our freezer is always full to the brim with meat and bread and milk. Our pantry seems to be overflowing with tins and packets and we have our own vegie garden out the back. But even with having all of this surplus – we do end up with those tins at the back of the pantry that don’t ever seem to get used. I’ll go searching today – I suspect it’ll be tuna and condensed milk! ;)ReplyCancel

  • I have to say that I hate cooking. My pantry is always full of staples though, just in case. I’m much more into baking. For dinners we have a few family favourites that I cook in large batches and freeze. One day I’ll have the courage to be more adventurous and challenge the kids…ReplyCancel

  • Mmm, that spaghetti looks good! We love haloumi here. Any cheese really, but haloumi is a favourite :)ReplyCancel

  • I totally read that wrong! I was wondering why you’d be blogging about a “panty raid”!! lol. My pantry has items in there so old, it should be looked at by an archeologist. My mother also told me, if there’s a tin of tuna in the pantry, you have a meal…and wouldn’t you know it, there’s several in there. Probably time for tuna mornay so I can use up those frozen veges too. Your meal plan looks delicious this week Katrina!ReplyCancel

  • An

    Thanks so much for your website Katrina – I love it!!

    Your meal plan looks delicious :-)

    My 4 items will be:
    1) Jelly – Mmm that jelly slice looks delicious.
    2) Minestrone soup out of the freezer (use up before it gets too warm for soup).
    3) Kangaroo fillets from the freezer that I probably wouldn’t have remembered if you didn’t prompt me to go ‘raid’.
    4) And some wholemeal spaghetti that again I probably would have otherwise overlooked – the wholemeal variety isn’t a staple in our house unfortunately.

    I also found some meat in the freezer which is past it’s best and I will gradually feed that to our big pooch over the week.

    Thanks again … oh and my ceiling fans are all clean … looking forward to more cleaning challenges!ReplyCancel

  • The choc earthquake cookies look yum. Instead of salmon rissoles, we make them with tuna.ReplyCancel

  • Cornish pasties for tea. A bit of steak, onion, 2 potatoes and a carrot made with homemade flaky pastry. Yumm

  • Love the challenge idea – sounds fun. Woo hoo! I can finally comment on your blog. Love these suggestions for eating. Yummo! N xReplyCancel

  • An

    I made the salmon rissoles tonight. They were really good, my 5 year old went back for seconds so a winner for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Mmmm…that roast lamb sure does look delicious and if you were lucky enough to have some left overs, you can use that for the next day as lunch fillings! :)ReplyCancel

{Reader tips} Laundry, bills and storing clothes

Thankyou to lovely reader Malinda for sending in the following tips I have small baskets for each person that I put folded clothes in and then they go to the person’s room…even if it takes an extra day to get put in drawers they are out of the way…and not my responsibility anymore haha {image […]

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  • I tried that – a basket for each of my girls folded clothes. I put them in their rooms but they just use the clothes out of the basket and never put them away. (sighs!)ReplyCancel

  • I’ve started a ‘second chance basket’ – each night I pick up what has been left on floor, show it to the Darlings who soon rush to put everything away before Mummy tosses it out! Working a treat!ReplyCancel

  • Helen

    I do this… only 4 in our family, but it makes folding so much easier – a basket for each person. Then, if I don’t get to put away the night of folding I put them in the bedrooms and I can easily find clothes for my tots and hubby, until I put them away. Hubby is currently at two baskets though – coz he won’t put his clothes away. lolReplyCancel

  • Organization in the home is important because it corresponds to a saving of time. If we spend a little time to organize and plan, certainly in the future we will save time, we can do more things and we can make them better!ReplyCancel

  • I’m trying the baskets theory on my family. Lets see who in my family is willing to chip in and help by putting their own stuff away instead of expecting me to do it. I didn’t realise they were living in a hotel. LOLReplyCancel

  • The baskets are a great idea, I have 6 children and often we will have a “folding party” If I havent had time to get the daily mountain of clean clothes folded. The baskets would make it much easier for them to put their things away.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda

    I do a similar thing, however I use some of the reusable shopping bags. They take up less space and are easier to carry upstairs together :)ReplyCancel

  • Janine

    Folding washing is never a problem i fold as it comes off the line… and i have a basket for each bedroom, however… the putting away part has me flummoxed… i think we have too many clothes!ReplyCancel

  • Chan

    I stumbled across this and love this idea for the kids I work with! BTW, love most of your ideas!ReplyCancel

  • I have the individual baskets too, love them! Mine fold up flat though, the thought was that I could put them away between washing… yeah, that doesn’t happen… At the moment I put most of the washing away, my son can, but is hopeless at keeping it folded neatly so I redo it most of the time and my daughter is just too young, but it still makes it easier as I keep filling them until all the washing is done and then only have to do one trip to their rooms to put them away. It’s good for ours too as I can throw the whole basket in the cupboard and shut the door when people are coming over ;)

    • kimberly

      hi meredith, where did u find folding baskets? :-)ReplyCancel

  • Carly Green

    I have set up a seperate account that is linked to all my other accounts & has a visa debit card attached. I worked out all my bills weekly & transfer that amount. I also track my electricity usage (weekly) to ensure i am putting aside correct amounts. I have all my bills direct debited out of that one account. I never get overdue fees anymore & get a 11% discount on my next electricity bill each qtr as its always paid on time. It took me a while to learn how to manage our finances better but i am so glad i did.ReplyCancel

    • Suzanne Crawford Mutzelburg

      Carly – who are you with for electricity? I would love to get a discount for paying on time!ReplyCancel

      • Carly Green

        Hi Suzanne, I am with Click energy. I am on the honeymoon plan which is $110 pm i pay in advance. they have no contracts & are cheaper than agl etc. if you do decide to join them I would really appreciate it if you say that i referred you that way we both get $50 off our next bill. My acc number is 160399 as they will ask for it :)

        • Suzanne Crawford Mutzelburg

          Thanks Carly – I will look into them and if I do sign up I’d be happy to say you referred me. ReplyCancel

  • ames

    I automatically pay bills day after payday. I have internet banking and have set up for each fortnight to pay, so one week is phone, the next electricity I got my quarterly statement for electricity times it by 4 then add $200 then divide by 26 and that is the amount we pay. If we owe any money when the bill arrives we pay the extra. But we generally find we are in credit for most of them :) which helps around Christmas time as we then don’t pay for a week or two and have a bit extra :)
    Love the basket idea, just wish i had the room :) maybe when I get a house of my own.ReplyCancel

{Inspiration} Creative uses with cans

It seems such a waste to put the cans in the recycling bin.  I remember when I was a child we used to decorate them, play with them in the sandpit or use them as phones.  I have found a wonderful collection of images that will inspire you to create something wonderful with your next […]

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  • Wow LOVE IT. Going to try some of these ideas for sure. Great way to be organised and to recycle.ReplyCancel

  • Bec

    We use old formula tins for storing things in the shed (screws, nails, odds and sodds)…
    Also they are great for making money tins out of… cut a hole in the lid and let the kids decorate!ReplyCancel

  • Paige

    I kept formula tins from my twins (we went through a lot) and covered them in fabricand edged them with ribbon for storage in my sewing studio. They came up so well and everyone comments on them.ReplyCancel

  • Fink

    Thank you! I have a heap of milo tins and a few illy tins that are too lovely to throw away.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Fairbridge

    I use all my old formula tins for everything from containers for pasta, rice, sugar, dog biscuits (you name it food wise it gets put in a tin)right through to drums for the kids, pencil tins, and if you get a drill and put a hole at bottom on either side and put string through and they instantly become stilts. Little tins such as milo tins etc make great shakers when they have rice in them and for the grown ups to make for the kids to look at but not touch, punch holes all round the tin, place a candle inside and hey presto you have an awesome tin that shoots light through the holes onto the wall like some galactic sky.ReplyCancel

  • I love this idea! I’m just wondering how the cans are connected to the board in the fourth picture…

    Cheeky Monkey has a formula tin for his toys (he’s only 6 months) so he can put them in and take them out again. The can and the lid also make great toys in and of themselves!ReplyCancel

  • I’ve been meaning to paint some cans. These all look great. I’m also saving Milo tins.ReplyCancel

  • Kellie

    These are great ideas. My son made some fantastic lanterns by drilling holes in the tins, painting them with auto paint & making wire handles.You simply pop a tealight candle inside. They look great hanging in the garden. I have been collecting tins ever since & now I have some great ideas of what to do with them. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • You are just magical and help keep me and my home business all organised this will come in handy!!!ReplyCancel

  • Louise

    I have heard that some people use them to bake small Christmas cakes in.ReplyCancel