Thursday, 31 December 2009

Oosouji Time

To prepare for a happy and prosperous new year, the Japanese preform oosouji, by cleaning and organising their homes, to tie up the old year's loose ends and make room for the blessings of a new year. Good idea. So..... today I've been re-doing my walk-in wardrobe AGAIN (millionth time I'm sure) and I've made it the best it's been yet. No photos yet, maybe tomorrow.

And I've been putting together a Household Notebook to use in 2010. I used one this year but not very well. I've been making it more comprehensive. Download your own version of a household notebook at, and a decluttering calendar at, which has daily ideas for clearing out junk! I've got them both in the same file. Also I've downloaded Christmas card lists and gift list plans from to use for Christmas 2010. I'm trying to be organised, I really am.

I wanted to share a pic of the great Christmas wrapping container I bought from Avon this year.

I'm not sold on the colour of it (woh!) but the different compartments were very handy for holding all the Christmas cards, labels, ribbons, paper, stamps, scissors and sticky tape that I used when wrapping pressies.

I've packed it away now, and it fits perfectly against the wall behind a suitcase in our wardrobe. I've noticed they are only in the Avon catalogues just before Christmas at $24.95. Worth every cent.

Well, Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you find your way to my blog in 2010 and get enough of a kick out of it to become a follower, and/or to add me to your blogroll.

For the month of January pop over to my other blogs Wise Owl Books and A Choc-Top and Me to check out my book and film reviews. I plan to post one every day this month, as I've been reading heaps of books and watching a lot of movies that you might want to know about!

May your new year ROCK!
Wendy xxx

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Christmas Reflections

Oh, it's been a busy time in the Sice house this Christmas season, and there has been no time to blog! So, while I haven't kept you up to date on a daily basis, here is a look back on the Christmas that was...

Jack's class performed a fantastic version of "I've got a feeling" by the Blackeyed Peas, at the school's annual Night with the Stars. I wish I'd managed to video it, because it really was spectacular!
I was so proud of my Kindy class when they danced to ABC by the Jackson Five. That song can go through my head for hours if I think of it! I didn't get a video myself, but one of the parents is going to give me a copy next year.

Gorgeous things - I will miss them!

The Pre-Primary kids went to the Annual North Pole Cafe Breakfast, which is organised by the Education Assistants at our school. It is a huge affair and a pleasure to attend. I take absolutely no credit for it! The rooms looked gorgeous, and the children made their own placemats.
The Parsons Family sent us some lovely handmade pressies for Christmas! A pretty wall calendar for 2010, some soap, and an adorable advent calendar (which we weren't very good at following, but loved reading through!)

Jack got us up at 5am, Christmas morning. Completely expected that! There was an excited unwrapping of presents and we were all very happy with what we got. There was many a Nerf gun through the house that day, and much vibrating of neck massagers, blenders and electric toothbrushes! I got a great stack of books, and some stunning jewellery and clothes. Can't wait to wear them!
Jonathon prepared a BEAUTIFUL Christmas lunch, that we had with his mum and sister. Thanks for the yummy pavlova Lorraine!
Then we went to Kristie and Dave's house for dinner, and got to cuddle the lovely Lily. Yummy salads and trifle provided by our Mum! Thanks!

Loved this pretty arrangement at Kristie's!

We had our annual Boxing Day barbecue lunch with our friend Richard and his Mum. Thanks for the trifle Betty! (Gotta love trifle!)

And Dad and Jane are coming to visit us today, now that we've all had a chance to recover from the Christmas rush!
Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful pressies and Christmas cards! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Someone new to love

How sweet is it with a new baby in the family? It's just such a great thing, to feel that family connection with a new little being, even before they have an understanding of who you are!

So here is Lily Isobel, my sister's baby girl, born today at 11.05am.
8 lbs, 7oz. Completely cute!

And here is Jack with Lily - so excited to have a new cousin!

Congratulations Kristie and Dave! She is beautiful!

Chocolate Scented Perfume for Christmas

I bought some magazines today, and while flicking through them I noticed that there is a big push to buy perfumes for Christmas. Now, I love the smell of perfume like anyone else, but I suffer with hay fever, and I can sneeze, wheeze, cough and carry on like a pork chop when I'm wearing perfume, or am around people wearing perfume. So, since I went organic three years ago, I haven't really worn perfume.
But I'm here to let you know that you can now buy ORGANIC PERFUMES! They look like this:
Gorgeous packaging! And, being concentrated the bottles are so delicate and cute, and you don't need much of the perfume to smell divine! My favourite is Delicious, which is completely that, as it has chocolate, honey, vanilla, and a floral hint of jasmine.!

The other perfumes in the range are called Love, Wild, Free, Brave, and Calm.
Go here to try this quiz to see which perfume could be your signature scent. They are all yummy!

Then, pop over to our miessence shop for your Christmas shopping!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Keep this in mind for when you go Christmas shopping

Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile now, may have realised that I LOVE receiving mail, especially parcels with gorgeous things inside. So when I saw the opportunity for a Swap Shop and Blog challenge I jumped straight in! And I was partnered with the lovely Kerri Laidlaw from Lamp and Motor who sells upcycled vintage bags in her etsy shop!

I sent Kerri one of the card sets from my etsy shop, Whimsical Works, and she sent me one of her colourful bags.

I LOVE the way Kerri presented her gift to me:

In the big parcel was this bag:

(The bag is made from a vintage men's shirt (the white pleated fabric), and the green spotty fabric is from the bottom of Kerri's mother-in-law's trunk of fabrics from the 70s and 80s.)

In the smaller parcel, was this cuter-than-cute brooch, also made from vintage fabrics.

I love all the extra details, like the business cards and the bag label - so incredibly funky!

Kerri told me all about her etsy shop venture:

The lovely Kerri

I am a self-confessed hoarder of fabrics, which is not good when you live in a two-bedroom apartment and work from the dining room table! I am a collector of any textiles with a vintage, kitsch or retro edge. I also love bags and brooches, and can't think of a better way to show off the fantastic fabrics I've found- sharing the love, basically!

What made you start your business?
Sewing has always been something I have loved, although I've been doing it on and off since home-ec days at high school, and have just picked it up again seriously with this current obsession! I didn't set out to start a business, or even sell my bags, in fact I am still surprised when someone wants to buy one! But I have now done a couple of markets and I have an etsy online store, which has been a whole lot of fun.

Butterfly bag
What do you plan to accomplish with your business?I don't have any grand plans. I'm just going to keep doing it while I enjoy it, which I don't see ending too soon!

Autumn leaves bag
What do you most get out of having your own business?
I love the creativity of sewing, designing and trawling through op shops and garage sales, for genuine vintage, kitsch and retro fabrics. I love the independence of selling my own handmade products, from sourcing the fabric to designing and creating, then selling face to face at markets, and online. I also love the craft community and belong to a great group called Bris Style, an etsy street team based in Brisbane, for Brisbane designers and makers of handmade products.
Brown bag
So inspiring! Kerri's enthusiasm and success in Brisbane markets has made me think about selling at markets too.
I LOVE all the kitsch bags she's got happening in her shop; there are even clutches as well!
I'm going to wear my new Lamp and Motor bag with a white top, blue jeans, and a little heel. If I can find a summer shoe in the same green, I'm so there!

Check out Kerri's shop here, and follow her blogging life here.

Think of Lamp and Motor when shopping for the ladies in your family for Christmas - sisters, mothers, daughters, best friends - all girls love bags, and these bags are unique!

P.S. For further online shopping ideas, visit the Shop Swap and Blog at Structured Chaos, to find a host of other new etsy shops!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Jack's Birthday

My beautiful boy was 11 on Saturday - 11!!!!

We had our first summer barbecue, and a yummy marble cake to celebrate.

Jack is a shining light of fun and craziness! He makes me laugh, and I have to say "I love you" to him a hundred times a day! Happy Birthday, Jack!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Pantry Makeover

There is a new channel on Foxtel called the Style Network and I am in LOVE with the shows on there! They are all about befores and afters, or makeovers - something I feel I strive for on a daily basis in one area of my life or another. (Don't we all?) I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with improvement. It helps me get ready for my next makeover challenge!

So here's my latest venture into makeoverism - organising our pantry. I can't for the life of me find the before shots (I'll post them when I do), but the following shots are the result of a couple of weeks worth of unpacking the pantry, chucking out heaps, buying containers, packing them and labelling them. The containers (from Woolworths) cost me about $260, which is a lot in one week, but that's a hey of a lot cheaper than some other container brands I know. And the pantry is full to the brim now. No gaping spaces above the food, no shoving things in any old way, no forgetting what's in there, no spilling stuff, and no trouble reaching to the top. And the boxes don't have to stay in perfect order, you can move them round like a tetris, rather than put the boxes back in the exact place.

I think it's a freaking masterpiece! And it only took me 39 years to come up with it! The moment of true glory was having Jonathon's cousin Chelsea jump off the couch with eyes as wide as saucers when I opened the pantry door. It made it all worthwhile.

Inside the pantry door, there's a nifty keyholder we got from Bunnings.

Hope this makeover inspires you!
By the way, speaking of makeovers, you have just GOT to go to this blog if you want to see the most amazing home makeover. The before photos had me laughing and laughing at how shocking they were, and the after photos had me oohing and aahing. Incredible!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

More Adventures in the Yanchep National Park

After we explored the Crystal Caves, we went koala-spotting,

admired the wildflowers,

and the hot rod display (I'm not even into cars, but these were really cool!)

We wandered by the lake,

saw the grass tree sculpture (made from taps!),

and Jack hung out on the jetty.

We visited the souvenir shop,

and had Devonshire tea in the Chocolate Drops tea rooms -delish!

Here is the lovely Chelsea, who we had staying at our house for the weekend. What a beautiful girl, so alive and inspiring - a breath of fresh air!

After the park we went to the beach, to take a dip in the ocean.

It was so windy!

Only Jack and Chelsea braved the icy water. And went way further in than this... Brrrr!!

Thanks for coming to visit Chels! It was so lovely to have you!

(As an after note, we went to the Yanchep Inn for dinner the night before and I had pavlova again, but it was even prettier this time! Desserts are sooo my weakness!)

Crystal Caves

Jonathon's cousin Chelsea came to visit on the weekend, and we took her to the Crystal Caves in the Yanchep National Park.

So awe-inspiring!