Things that made my life better in 2017

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

I’ve got a bit of a personal post today sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life better, happier and if not easier in 2017 (besides my family and friends).  Please share with me in the comments below, what is your thing that made life better in 2017?


I woke up on the 1st January 2017 with blurred vision, which scared me, and by midday gave me the biggest headache, and no it wasn’t a hangover. I booked myself into the optometrist as it continued for a few days after. At the time I was only wearing glasses for when I worked in front of the computer.  I took most of the December prior offline to spend with the family and there was a period of 2-3 weeks that I didn’t put my glasses on at all.  The optometrist said it was my eye’s way of having a hissy fit and telling me they wanted the glasses back but on.  I think I had known that my vision had been declining, as I found it so hard to read small print on the back of food labels.  Anyways I got my eyes tested with the recommendation to wear glasses permanently.  And wouldn’t you know….my vision is so much better, I can see everything clearly and read the smallest print.  Do you like my new headshot with my glasses?

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


My hubby and I have been married nearly 19 years and we have only ever been pet owners to a few fish and our ragdoll cat Millee. Year before last I started doing some research about adding a puppy to our family, the kids had always wanted one and I thought it was time. I fell in love with the King Charles Cavelier breed and found a breeder a few hours away, so once I heard she had a litter we went for a drive and met Zoe at 3-4 weeks old.  We picked Zoe up at 12 weeks in June and we were just so smitten straight away and wondering why we didn’t introduce a doggy into our lives sooner.. we think perhaps we were just waiting for Zoe.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.

The puppy stages were hard, she needed quite a lot of attention, which was hard when the kids were at school and I was trying to work.  But for the love we have for Zoe, I’d do it all again.  Look at those eyes, they are so adorable and hard to get cranky at, especially last week when she ripped one of my favourite bromeliads I just potted up to shreds.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


I have been using essential oils for many years in my homemade cleaning recipes and to help the kids sleep at night. But it wasn’t until last year that I truly began to understand the benefits of using essential oils for emotional and physical wellness applications.  I suffer from anxiety and had several attacks last year, for no reason at all, they just come out of nowhere.  I learnt how to use the oils to support and balance my hormones and ease feelings of anxiety.  My hubby has a very low immune system at the moment so I have also used the oils to support him too. I diffuse or apply oils to my skin every day and so grateful that I took the time to properly learn and appreciate them, although I feel like I still have so much more to learn.  Read my beginners guide to essential oils here.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


This was such a hard decision to make, but I’m so glad I found the courage to do it again.  In July I had revisional gastric sleeve surgery and SIPS (a form of mini bypass).  You can read about my decision here.  Now 6 months since my surgery I have lost nearly 25kg and I am feel amazing, have more energy and feel like my old self is back.  I still have a way to go to get to my goal but I have the determination in me to reach it.  Prior to going away on our family holiday late last year I was wearing all my old baggy clothes still which made me feel frumpy.  As we were travelling to America and it was cold I shouted myself a few new clothes for our trip to help keep me warm.  I can’t tell you how good it felt to be wearing clothes that fitted me properly, it completely changed my mindset and helped me to realise how much weight I had actually lost.  So my goal for this 2018 new year was to purge all my old baggy clothes from my wardrobe and wear clothes that fitted me properly. I’m now wearing size 12-14!!

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


After my surgery my hair started to fall out.  I expected it as it did the same last time.  I brush my hair and the comb is full, I drive with the window down and I have hair flying everywhere. When I wet my hair I have clumps running down my legs. I have a few very thin patches around the side of my face, it’s so fine and fragile at the moment.  So I strive to touch it as little as I can.  Typically, I would wash my hair every second day without fail as it’s just too oily. And because it’s so oily, I can only wear it out the same day that I have washed it. But OMG I love this Shampoo and Conditioner I have started using. I now manage to get through 4-5 days without washing my hair and if I wanted to, I could wear it out Day 1, 2 and 3 and it still looks lovely and clean and fresh!! Blown away.

doTERRA Shampoo and Conditioner pack combines Lavender, Marjoram, Cedarwood, Rosemary & Eucalyptus essential oils to give your hair what it needs! It will give your hair a smooth, healthy look it deserves. You can purchase this pack via my doTERRA shop at full retail price or get 25% off by creating a wholesale account. There’s no minimum spend and there’s never any obligation to make another purchase if you don’t want to. You do NOT need to place an order every month or on-sell to friends or family, you simply get to save 25%.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


We had quite a few chaotic months there at the end of last year. Between me taking 3 weeks off to recover from my surgery, I then worked myself to hard planning all my Christmas blog posts ahead of time so that I could take off 6 weeks offline over December and January.  But no matter how much work my hubby (who owns his own business too) and I had to do we continued to have our weekends off to spend time with family and we never miss our Sunday afternoon games time with the kids.  We all look forward to this time of the week, I put on a spread of food, cold drinks, and fun board games.  We LOVE board games!

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


I think it’s important to have some time to yourself, away from the kids, hubby and away from the household chores….  I regularly catch up with friends, but I also enjoy pottering in my garden.  Prior to Zoe joining our family I had a little vegetable garden which I kept maintained and grew an abundance of zucchini, strawberries and herbs.  But Zoe has destroyed it.  I need to put up a barrier fence, but for now I have given up.  Although I have managed to keep some herbs alive and am trialling a planter stand I purchased from Bunnings recently.

I have a new found love affair with succulents.  I found one growing next to my mum’s grave (planted by the groundskeeper) so I naughtily pinched a cutting off it, bought it home and potted it up.  It looked lonely so I purchased another, and then realised that they looked better in a pot with many grouped together, so I ‘NEEDED’ more.  Now I can’t help myself, I am out there every afternoon fluffing around with them, propagating them to make babies and hunting for more visiting nurseries and local markets.  I really enjoy my time in the garden, I tune out, spend some time in the fresh air and enjoy the tranquillity of it, maybe my mum’s way of telling me to get into the garden as she was a green thumb.

Anyone got any top tips to stop dogs from getting into the plants?

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


Many of you may not know but this blog is my full-time job. Last year I realised the amount of work that I need to do for it each day was is beyond me.  I had interns from the local university come in during their semester for work experience, but I needed someone along side me on a regular basis.  Sam started working with me middle of last year and has been a god-send, she has been a family friend for many years and I knew once she expressed interest that she’d fit right in.  Having her helping me has helped me get that family/work balance back.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


In my down time (without the kiddies) if I’m not pottering in the garden or organising a cupboard in the house, I like to sit and binge watch TV.  Mostly at night, I snuggle up to my blanket (no matter how hot it is) to wind down at the end of a long day, to not think, not plan, not worry, to just be still for a little.  For me binge watching is the way to go one episode is never enough!  You can find some of my favourite shows here, here and here.  I use Fetch, you can read about it here.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.


Our big family trip tom the USA!! Ooh my goodness we had THE BEST TIME, we travelled all around the west coast of California, USA. We went to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Disneyland, LA and Hawaii.  It was action packed but so much fun, we reconnected, we laughed, we had long conversations, we ventured and we all went on roller coasters.  I shared a few snippets on instagram and instagram stories, but mostly I put the camera down, packed away the laptop and enjoyed time out with my hubby and the kids.

A bit of a personal post sharing a few things, moments and people that have made my life easier in 2017.

What was one thing that made your life easier or better in 2017?

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Erica January 29, 2018 - 8:49 AM

Kat, I have read that some dogs find bromeliads irrestible. Some years ago we had a dog like that and it destroyed every brom in my garden. Fortunately our current dog isn’t interested in them, so I have broms everywhere! A lot of mine are in the forks of trees and bushes so that might work for you, keeping them out of reach of Zoe.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 29, 2018 - 10:29 AM

Oh thank you Erica. They are pretty irresistible aren’t they

Kez @ Awesomely Unprepared January 29, 2018 - 9:21 AM

Oh gosh, I am sure there were many little things that helped me in 2017. The biggest thing was falling pregnant via IVF! After years of struggle to conceive, it was very exciting to look to a future with less fertility struggles and more family!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 29, 2018 - 10:32 AM

Congratulations Kez. That is certainly a highlight to be proud of

Sarah January 29, 2018 - 10:16 AM

With the support of my doctor i took saxenda injections for weight loss and lost 40kg so far. A few more to go 🙂 but it feels wonderful to be back to my old self and in control of my life again. Thanks for your posts kat, good luck in the new year.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 29, 2018 - 10:33 AM

Well done Sarah. That’s an amazing result and I am sure you would be feeling amazing

Susan Beauchamp January 29, 2018 - 12:24 PM

On the 28th of January 2017 we started to mainly paint and do a mini renovation on our house. Due to my husband working fulltime and me having mobility issues it took us a year. We’ve finally finished! This was an amazing achievement for us. I found out last November that after a lot of health issues, that I had Sleep Apnoea. After using CPAP therapy for the last 2 months, I feel reborn! The energy I have now and the quality sleep I get is amazing. I’m now on my way to mainly use this energy to get into exercise to lose weight and be healthier. All the best to you Kat for the year ahead.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 30, 2018 - 9:46 AM

Wow it’s amazing how it can affect your body. So glad you are feeling better and what an amazing achievement to renovate your house. Well done

Lisa January 29, 2018 - 12:57 PM

Hi Kat

Dogs don’t like citronella. Maybe you can put some oil in the soil around the plants as it may discourage her. Dogs usually dig because they are bored, maybe she needs more exercise? Some are just born diggers. We put dog poo in the holes our pup dug and he soon stopped digging and started helping fill the holes to cover up the smell! For those that just can’t stop digging, a digging pit of their own can help. For zoe a clam shell from kmart worth some buried toys and treats to tell her this space is ok to dig, scold her if you catch her in mama’s garden, and immediately put her in her pit and encourage her to dig. Soil has a lot of smells, and can be irresistible, so Zoe’s pit must be equally tempting.

As she’s a small dog, raised veggie beds might be enough to stop her getting in to them. Again, something better than the garden which is full of delicious compost smells must be on hand for her to get into. Good luck!

PS. What are the best board games your teens like to play ?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 29, 2018 - 1:00 PM

A friend suggested I raise the garden beds too, I might try that as I really do like to have some veggies available in the backyard, saves so much money. Thank you for the tips. Board games we like are Blokus, Uno, 5 seconds and the Logo Game.

Karen February 2, 2018 - 6:33 PM

We have raised vege gardens and our beagle still got in there! The only way we can stop him is putting chicken wire/mesh up. I guess the bonus is it provides something for veges that climb to go up!

Bev January 29, 2018 - 4:33 PM

I love your photo, chuck away those baggies. It’s nice when you can start working out things that need changing, and then tackle them one at a time. To look at you, you would never know you suffer from anxiety. It’s surprising what people hide behind smiles. Love your blogs, love daily chore, and am eagerly awaiting 20 day challenge. ? Bev

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 30, 2018 - 9:49 AM

Thanks Bev. Yes certainly feels amazing getting rid of the clothes I no longer fit.

Denise January 29, 2018 - 7:09 PM

Hi Kat,
I have recently started my succulent collection here in Adelaide. We gave a great face book page where like minded ppl share hints, tips, offer plants for sale or swap. Share their shopping vargaibs and photos if their plants.
You might find one near you.
Good luck

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 30, 2018 - 9:50 AM

They are so beautiful. I didn’t realise how popular these were. Thank you I will keep an eye out

Hayley Button January 29, 2018 - 7:44 PM

Thank you. I needed to hear some of that. Time to get my butt into gear and make some changes. I appreciate you sharing your story.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 30, 2018 - 9:52 AM

Thanks Hayley. The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the year before and what you can change now to make the current year that much better

Derylie Wickens January 29, 2018 - 9:44 PM

My daughter had a bromeliad garden in her last house and the mosquitoes were horrendous. we thought it must be the small pool of water in each plant. ideal for breeding mozzies. Keep that in mind is you find bites a problem.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 30, 2018 - 9:54 AM

Oh yes.. good tip. Haven’t got this problem just yet but I will keep this in mind

Esmé Flett January 29, 2018 - 10:55 PM

Zoe is adorable. The wonderful thing in 2017 for me was being able to spend slightly more than five weeks with our daughter, her husband and two daughters in Queensland. Almost as soon as we got there George was flown from Cairns to be part of their family. George is also a King Charles Cavalier with Lurcher tendencies and a great instinct forgetting into trouble. Good luck with training Zoe; try not to give in to those puppy eyes too much. ??

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 30, 2018 - 9:55 AM

Esme that sounds perfect. Spending time with family is so important. So happy to hear this was the highlight for your 2017. Oh yes.. those eyes.. They get you everytime

Samantha February 1, 2018 - 9:44 AM

I love succulents and would love to start growing some but feel intimidated by them as I know nothing about growing / propagating them. It would be great if you would consider some tutorials aimed at a complete novice (pretty please).

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 1, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Yes I think I will, I was asked by quite a few on instagram to share my tips. I am doing some properating now so I’ll get them growing then share how I do it… it’s super simple I was properating and didn’t even know it!!

Shelly April 4, 2018 - 4:35 AM

My son told me to use cinnamon oil. We have retrievers and the chew on furniture. I put a little on my finger a wipe it on the spot. We haven’t lost anything this time. When I plant I dust the top after I’m done with powderd from the dollar store. Any existing flower beds I cut squares of chicken wire and lay them flat on the ground. All the sharp edges bent to where they wont get hurt. This solution is immediate they hate getting their nails caught while digging. Hope this helps.


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