Monday, 18 May 2015

Pretty and Practical Organisation Tips

It's been a crazy few weeks in our house, but today starts a brand new week for us and I'm excited to have Erin joining us on the blog to share some organisation tips.

I'll be back during the week, if all goes to plan, to share how well our spending freeze has been working as well as what I have learnt from it. The quote below sums it up perfectly though.

Happy Monday (and thanks Erin!) x


Thanks Leanne, for asking me to be a guest on your blog. I am very flattered.
Hi everyone, I am Erin - a mother, a primary school teacher, a fan of Organising the Four of Us (OTFU) and the owner and designer of Nappy Cakes by Erin.

I have always enjoyed pretty and creative activities from a young age - colouring in, art, craft, scrapbooking, cross-stitching, interior design, photography, music - you name it!!
My passion for organisation has always been evident, but it didn't truly emerge until I was a beginner teacher with my very own classroom. I loved creating pretty and practical teacher programs, classroom resources and setting up fun and inspirational learning environments for my students.
Many years later with the likes of social media, organisation blogs and Pinterest at my fingertips, my love for organisation has grown and due to experience, hindsight and motherhood, my organisation has evolved.

I live a very busy, yet simple life in Sydney. I enjoy adding fun to the mundane tasks of running a household by making things look pretty and practical without reinventing the wheel. So today I thought I’d share a few resources that have brought colour, simplicity, organisation and joy into my life - yes,  even to the most boring of jobs.

Meal planning - what works for me?
Once a month, I create a meal plan of lunches, snacks and dinners. I use a template found in the 2015 Daily Planner available at The Organised Housewife Online Shop.

Photo taken by The Organised Housewife {}
Finding meals that offer variety, nutrition and taste can be difficult and time consuming so I look up recipe ideas online - my favourite go to sites are 4 Ingredients with Kim McCosker, The Organised Housewife, Bellini Addicts, and Annabel Karmel. They are full of inspirations and are usually relatively easy recipes to follow.

I record the meal names into the monthly planner. Once the meal plan is complete, I write all the necessary ingredients on a grocery list using a template from I like this template as it is pretty with visuals and is easy to use - the layout involves categories - ever so practical when it comes to grocery shopping in categorised aisles. I then add any other products we need to the list.
Find this template at

Image source by Not Quite Susie {}
Then the shopping begins!! I shop in store fortnightly. The meat is bought at the local butcher and everything else is bought in the one supermarket to save time. Certain products such as dishwasher tabs, washing powder and Napisan I try to buy in bulk -as it saves money. I look for these specials using the supermarket catalogues that come in the mail.

I have fresh produce delivered weekly. This has been a valuable service and if this sort of thing fits your lifestyle, I highly recommend finding your local produce delivery service.
Once I return from the supermarket, the meat is separated into meal portions, put into a vacuum sealed bag, labelled and stored in the freezer.  The rest of the shopping is put away in the pantry and/or other locations.

Then begins the fortnightly bulk cook of both the meals and snacks planned. I usually plan two homemade frozen dinners a week due to our schedule with extracurricular activities. Once these meals and snacks are cooked they are labelled and stored in the freezer.

The last thing I work on is the pantry and freezer inventory. I make any necessary amendments so that everyone is aware of what is in stock. And if I remember (which isn't often) I pull out a fresh grocery list so when we run out of a product it can be added to the grocery list immediately. This does seem to save time or accidentally forgetting to buy something at the next shop.
The pantry and freezer inventory templates can be found at
Some tips I have learnt with meal planning is to be aware if any meals will have leftovers and if so, factor them into the plan whether it be lunch or dinner.
If you plan to eat out be sure to factor this into your meal plan too.

Daily Planner - what works for me.
I use the 2015 Daily Planner available for purchase from The Organised Housewife Online Shop. I like this template because it is super pretty and also very practical. I printed the planner and have kept it in a A4 binder with dividers.
This template covers all the necessary areas for my lifestyle:
*Daily time schedule
*Blank sections for notes
* Reminders for water consumption, exercise and vitamins
*Yearly Calendar
* Monthly Calendar
*Daily Calendar
* Monthly goals
* Monthly meal planner
I find this planner great to keep track of achievements and daily tasks.
I set time aside each night to look over the achievements and each morning I spend a few minutes to make a to do list and review what the day/week/month ahead has in store for our family.

Image source: The Organised Housewife. {}

Bill Organiser - what works for me.
I use the 2014 Bill Organiser from The Organised Housewife Online Shop. Much like the daily planner this document is user- friendly and pretty. There is just something about using pretty stationery to complete mundane tasks - well... any task.
I set a short time aside once a week to pay bills, review the budget and file the paperwork.  The key to keeping on top of this is not to avoid missing a week.  

Photo taken by The Organised Housewife
An updated version of this document can be found at

Nappy Cakes - all about Nappy Cakes by Erin.
In keeping with all things pretty and practical I decided to take on a craft activity whilst on maternity leave. Nappy Cakes by Erin began as a hobby and more recently has become a little home-based business.

As I mentioned earlier, I have always enjoyed creative activities especially when they can be pretty and practical. So when I had leftover newborn nappies from my children outgrowing them, the thought of designing a nappy cake came to mind - rather than tossing out the nappies. Really, I thought it would just be a bit of fun!!

The opportunity came where I could share this nappy cake and give it to a family member so they could pass it on as a gift. I received such lovely and positive feedback that I decided to make another nappy cake so it was available for the next opportunity that rolled around. People always know someone who is expecting a bundle of joy, right?

Since then, I have continued to create nappy cake gifts for family and friends. I have had many opportunities to see the delight on people's faces when receiving their gifts as well as conversations on how pretty and unique they are.
Before long, word started to spread and with this came Nappy Cakes by Erin.

Nappy Cakes by Erin is based in Sydney and provides Ready to Go and Custom Design nappy cake gifts, pamper hampers, thank you gifts, towel cakes, mummy and daddy survival kits and children's birthday gifts to individuals and corporate companies that are stunning, practical and unique using adorable baby essentials, designer garments, handmade items and lush pampering products...because all mothers deserve something special.

I am continually looking at new and creative ways to provide parents with quality essential baby products. I hope you enjoy looking at my creations and get the opportunity to buy one to share with your loved ones.
The latest adventures for Nappy Cakes by Erin is  launching a website as well as expanding our range of products and designs.
If you like what you see - you can find me on Facebook and Pinterest and soon at


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