Tuesday, 30 September 2014

SRC Recovery Shorts Review

My Story...

With my first pregnancy, I was so naïve on everything baby, pregnancy and post baby related. I was so sick (and so paranoid about something going wrong), so I refused to read anything.
So naïve was I, that I didn't even know how to change a nappy and I certainly didn't know anything about what might happen to my body post birth.

When both of my babies were born, I was told by the hospital physio that I had quite the muscle separation - 6 cm in fact. It is quite common to have this post birth, but I think mine was compounded by a lot of inactivity during my pregnancy. 

During my first (and subsequent pregnancy), I was hit with hyperemesis. This is the condition that we hear so much about with Princess Kate, it is a severe form of pregnancy sickness. It can only be described as sheer hell on earth, and I am literally confined to bed (or a hospital drip) for the best part of the first 26 weeks.

Me just 4 days before Mr B arrived!
After Mr B was born (he was delivered by emergency caesarean) I was told by the hospital physio to get myself a pair of SRC Recovery Shorts to aid in the recovery of the caesarean, and also to assist with my separation.

My results...

With my first pregnancy I started wearing the shorts after the first 3 days. The hospital physio told me that I would need to see her at 6 weeks post birth as I would need to start an extensive campaign to repair the muscle separation.
I attempted to wear the shorts for most of the day for the first 6 weeks. The only hard part for me was that with both of my bubs, they are summer babies, and on those 40 degree days it can be a bit hot to bother with the shorts.

But other than this I was very consistent and you know what, when that Physio appointment rolled around, the physio was absolutely shocked by how much the separation had reduced in such a short space of time.
With pregnancy and birth #2 (also caesar) I had the same degree of separation and the shorts were invaluable in assisting not only with the recovery, but again the same separation issues.

With both pregnancies I found myself leaving the hospital with what looked like a 'fairly' flat tummy. Most of that illusion was the shorts...

I don't have a lot of pics of me post birth (who doesn't' avoid the camera like the plague after birth?!), but this is the closest I could find to show you my tummy. It was taken 6 days after Miss C arrived (pregnancy #2). Sure I am definitely no Miranda Kerr post birth, but I think the shorts do a pretty grand job of tucking it all in!

What I loved...

  • I loved the 'illusion' of a flat tummy. Even though it is suggested to wear these for the first 6 weeks, I found it hard to say goodbye to my old friends, because I loved the support and the shape that they gave me!
  • These were easy to wear under clothes and on those hot summer days I wore them alone with a t-shirt (just around the house)
  • Not having to pay for expensive post birth physio - these were all that I needed to get amazing results 
  •  The shorts gave me a lot more 'mobility' with moving around post C-section
  • That they actually do really work - miracle shorts!

What I didn't love...

  • I am not going to sugar-coat it, these things are not cheap. But hey, anything pregnancy and baby related usually comes at a price. These retail at $189.00, but my goodness are they worth every single cent!
  • If you are planning to have more than one baby, you can pack these away for next time as well. If not, they seem to fetch very high prices on Ebay if you want to sell on
  • The cost can also be reduced as many health funds do offer a rebate
  • The colour. Because my babies were born in summer, I was wearing light floaty dresses. I would have loved a 'nude' pair that would be better to wear under clothes instead of the black 

Advice for Buying...

It can be a bit confusing to select sizes as you don't exactly know what you are going to be like post birth. My advice (if in doubt) is to size down.
For example I was a size medium, but a few weeks in to the recovery I could have gone to a size small. You don't want these to be loose, they need to be tight to do their magic!

Like to Try?

If you are currently pregnant, just had a bub or even thinking about one - then stay tuned to the blog as I have a giveaway for one reader to win a pair starting tomorrow - stay tuned!
If you have any questions or further information you would like on these, feel free to drop me a line! Otherwise you can check out the range and purchase right here.

Ladies if I can suggest one 'must have' for the hospital bag, these would be right at the top of my list!
Tried these? Did they help you post pregnancy too? Love to hear your experience.

Friday, 26 September 2014

5 Creative Storage Ideas for Your Home

{Sponsored Post}
One of the most common problems faced by modern families is having too much stuff and not enough space to store it. Sure, sometimes you can throw things out or store them remotely, but those options aren’t always suitable for everyone. Luckily, people today are inventive – with a little bit of creativity and clever thinking, you can find new and interesting ways to create storage space where you wouldn’t expect it.
Below are five ideas for doing just this, though you could also check out some other ideas online (e.g. on Pinterest) or talk to a home design expert at Coral Homes.

1. Baskets on the Wall

If you have free wall space in your bathroom or laundry but never enough room in your cupboards for towels, this is a brilliant way to save space and put these items in a convenient place. Get a couple of baskets and anchor them horizontally to the wall to become shelves. If done right, it can look awesome as well as being practical.

2. Pegboards for Jewellery (and More)

If your dresser is being swarmed by jewellery or your closet is overwhelmed by scarves, belts, and other items, a DIY pegboard or two in the bathroom or bedroom could be just what you need. Essentially, you glue some pegs to a board, then stick it to the wall.
Image Source

3. Magnetic Spices

If you’re a cook who uses a variety of spices, thing in the kitchen can get quite messy (and that’s before the cooking starts!) Storing all your spices can cause clutter and be unsightly as well, which is why storing them in magnetic containers on the fridge is a brilliant solution.
Image Source

4. You Rung?

When lying useless in the garage or around the house, a ladder takes up an irritating amount of space. But when used to your advantage, these tools can become surprisingly useful for storing things in both a practical and stylish way. The methods of using a ladder as a piece of furniture are seemingly endless, ranging from creating a rustic looking set of shelfs to hanging from the ceiling as a creative overhead storage space. Whatever way you use your ladder, if you put your mind and creativity to the test, you may find your home’s storage capacity climbing to new heights.

5. Fold-up Desk on the Wall

Who knew that a place for the kids to do their homework could transform into a space-saving chalkboard on the wall? With this creative approach to both storage and functionality, you can create a desk with storage space that doubles as a platform on which your little ones can practice their drawing!
Image Source: The IKEA Norberg Wall Mounted Table
It turns out people today are pretty clever and resourceful. If you struggle with what seems like an endlessly expanding collection of things, rejoice in the fact that there are many inventive ways of creating storage space in your house.

This list is by no means exhaustive – search around the web for other ideas or see what you can come up with yourself! love to have you share some with us...

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Clever Office Hacks: Creative Uses for Basic Office Supplies

{Post Bought to you in Conjunction with Officeworks}
I hope that you enjoyed the first part of my 'Office Hack' series earlier on this week. If you missed it, I featured my budget friendly family recharge centre.

You can catch the post here.
Today I am looking at some Office Hacks using those basic office supplies that you most likely have in your top drawer.

The Paper Clip

Who knew that the paperclip had SO many clever uses? Here are a few of my favourites....

Remove Sticky Tape Frustration!

Never search for the end of the sticky tape or washi tape roll again! If you are as big of a washi tape fan as I am, then this is a lifesaver!

There is nothing more frustrating that spending an eternity trying to find the end of the sticky tape roll, especially as it always seems to happen midway when wrapping a present - happen to you too?


Mark your place with this cheap and easy paperclip option. Your library will thank you for not returning 'dog eared' books!

Seal your Snacks

The bottom drawer of my desk is for my sneaky snacks! Even though I could easily polish off a bag of this popcorn in one sitting, I 'try' and be a bit more restrained (though chocolate is a different story entirely).
Seal your chips, food packets and even frozen bagged goods all with the aid of a humble paper clip!
What I used...
Buy It Here
Celco Paper Clips 50mm Tub/200
RRP: $10.03
I adore the pastel colours in this tub!

The Post It Note

Another office staple that I am sure we all have stashed away. Why not put these to use on your keyboard?!

Clean your Keyboard

I don't know about you, but I eat constantly over my keyboard (refer to point above about popcorn!).

Remove crumbs, popcorn(!), dust and grime with a simple post it note.

Give it a try, it really does work wonders.
What I used...
Buy It Here
3M Post-It Notes 76cm x 76cm
RRP: $3.47
Do you have some genius Office Hack ideas? Love to hear them!

Attempted any of these at home? Feel free to share any pictures by email to utterlyorganised@gmail.com

For more ideas be sure to check out the Office Hacks Pinterest board by Officeworks


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Clever Office Hacks: The Cheap DIY Recharge Station using Martha Stewart Range at Officeworks

{Post Bought to you in Conjunction with Officeworks}
I was recently asked by Officeworks if I would like to join in the little campaign they are running to convert your home study or office space in to 'amazing' without breaking the bank.
The idea is to take ordinary items and make them extraordinary with a bit of an 'office hack' makeover. Being a budget gal through and through, this sounded like just the project for me!!
The very first thing that I wanted to try and recreate on a budget was a 'recharge' station for all of the phone, ipod, camera and other gadgets that need charging. For the longest time I have wanted the Pottery Barn version, which I believe is no longer available.

Image Source
So my mission was to recreate my own version - on the cheap - and this is what I came up with...


What I used...

To create the station, I used:
1. Martha Stewart Drawer with Inbox
RRP $26.99
I reviewed the Martha Stewart range a few years ago, so I wanted to use the same gorgeous colour in my house and office. If you missed my review, you can still read it here.
This is also available in white if that is more your style!
2. HPM 4 Outlet Powerboard
RRP: $3.98

How to do it...

1. Remove the inner drawer of the unit and attach the powerboard to the back of the tray using electrical tape

2. Cut the back of the inner tray so that the extension cord can fit through using a sharp blade

3. Drill circular hole at wall of the outer unit, lining up with the cut that you made above for the plug

4. Plug points in
5. Pull cord out the back of the unit
6. If desired, screw in a book plate or a door latch plate (this is what we had laying about) with a shallow depth screw on the top of the unit

7. Drill inner latch hole around edge and cut out the rest using a sharp Stanley knife or blade
8. Push wires through hole
9. You are done!!

The results...


What do you think? 

No messy cords, all neat and organised and there is even room to utilise in your little drawer and the top of the unit too.
Best part of this is that you can have this in your office, family room or kitchen spaces and it looks great using this gorgeous little Martha Stewart unit.
Stay tuned as I am going to have a few more hacks that use an office staple that I bet you have laying around your desk drawer....

For more clever ideas be sure to check out the Office Hacks Pinterest board by Officeworks

Sunday, 21 September 2014

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Look Bigger Without Resorting to an Extension!

{Sponsored Post}

Even if you live in a home with a seemingly abundant square footage, it’s more than likely that you will sometimes feel claustrophobic and desire more space. There are so many reasons for rooms looking and feeling smaller than they may actually be, but the good news is that there are some simple ways to create a feeling and appearance of spaciousness within your home - without resorting to an extension (like me!).

Clear out and move into storage

Few things are more heartening and satisfying than having a massive spring clean and getting rid of unwanted, unused items. De-cluttering is one of the very best ways to create more space and make your home appear larger.

Chances are, you have many items in your home that you do not want to throw out or give away. Equally though, you may not want them kept at your home. A perfect solution for this is to utilise purpose-built storage space.
If you have room and the resources to carry out the project, you could build a storage room within your house. However it’s probably more practical to shift some of these items into a specialised, off-site storage facility. A range of safe, secure, accessible storage solutions are available, with options available depending on how much storage space you need, the types of items you want to store, and your budget. Pop over to Fort Knox to learn more about the offerings of the best quality and favourably reviewed storage providers.

Expand your garage

For many households, the garage is a prized asset that is used for many different purposes – including storage. To maximise the storage space available to you, consider the costs, practicality and advantages of extending your garage. Not only will additional storage space in your garage be of benefit to you, it is sure to be a drawcard for prospective buyers of your house if you ever choose to sell.

Image Source

Create a storage room within your house

Again, this option may be costly and impractical, but if building a designated storage room within your house is a possibility, you may never regret doing so. Consider whether there is space and opportunity to convert any areas under your house to storage areas, or if you have any spare rooms, whether these could be converted for to provide additional storage within your home.

Change your bedroom furniture

In many homes, large, bulky bedroom furniture takes up precious space and consumes rooms. There are advantages to practical furniture solutions (i.e. bunk beds) if such a sleeping arrangement is practical for the inhabitants of your home.

Image Source

It is now possible to obtain safe and stylish bunk beds and other bedroom furniture that promotes an impression and more effective use of space.

Use light-coloured paint on walls

Many interior designers know that lighter coloured walls are preferable in most homes. While darker colours can create a sense of cosiness, they can simultaneously enclose rooms so that they feel much less spacious.

Image Source
The advantage of light colours is that they reflect and multiply light. In contrast, dark colours absorb light. To create space and airiness within a room, opt for colours including: white, cream, beige, pale/greyish-coloured blue and lavender.
Most of us crave more space in our homes. A range of strategies can be applied to make homes and particular rooms look and feel bigger. Do you have any tips on creating more space around the home?

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Project Extension Weeks 8 & 9: Damage!

I am actually amazed that we are already over 2 months in to the project and yet so far from where we expected to be at this time. 
The last two weeks have seen very little progress (again!), but we are almost there with fixing our garage (cracks and underpinning) and at least that will mean that we can move all of the things that are residing on our deck, in our shed, cupboards, under beds - you name it - back to their homes later this week.
If you follow my Facebook Page, you will have seen that I posted these pictures on the weekend.

Melbourne was hit with some pretty crazy storms last week and we were out at the time. We didn't think anything of it, until I started to notice a very 'unusual' smell in our lounge on Sunday. Because we have a huge couch covering our large bay window, we did not notice that a current of water must have entered our house during the storms. 
This resulted in a lot of damage to our curtains, carpet and walls and windows. Thankfully the windows and the walls are going to be repaired or removed in any case, as this room becomes doubled in size with the extension.
We are also getting the same carpet matched up in the new part, but it just means that we had to call our lovely Carpet man in a bit of a panic to add a few more metres on to our order.
I guess the saving grace in the extension not being as far along as it should have been, is that there would have been a heck of a lot more damage if the windows were removed while they work on the rest of the room.
But at week 9, my patience is starting to wear thin - I want my privacy back, I don't want to have my car blocked in when I am running late to take the kids to an appointment, I don't want to have to get dressed first thing in the morning in case they knock on the door to use the toilet and I want my house and organisation back!!

I am hoping for BIG things in week 10, watch this space!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Life Changing Laundry Products from Adairs

Firstly, let me make this quite clear that this is not a sponsored post (I will always pop at the start of the post if it is, just for future reference).
Adairs have hit a home run this year as far as I am concerned - you will find me wandering around an Adairs store once every few weeks - the ladies seriously do know me by name! I absolutely LOVE their range of homewears, towels, doona covers and I absolutely adore the Kid's range.
Because I am so often found to be at a store, I am also so often 'reminded' by the persistent sales assistant (that knows me by name!) on how much I need to try the Mercer + Reid Laundry range.
Now I don't know about you, but I thought that the 'hard sell' was just indicative of a fairly ordinary product and not once did I cave in to buy! That was until I saw that my lovely bargain friend in the know - Chelsea from I Heart Bargains - posted about having tried - and loved- the Laundry Care range.
Once I saw this I knew I had to give them a go - Chelsea knows her bargains! I am SO glad that I did, they have literally changed the way that I do laundry! 
One bottle retails for $19.95, but they are 30% off (more if you are a Linen Lovers member) most of the time - so expect to pay around $13 odd per bottle. A bottle lasts for 40 washes and oh my goodness - the smell - divine!!

If you have stains (which is frequently me with a bub and toddler!), I just pop a little bit of Napisan in with the wash, or treat it before I wash. You don't need a fabric softener - this stuff does it all. It is also a super gentle product, so perfect for sensitive little skin that is prone to eczema or rashes.

They also have some gorgeous spray products - linen, room and mattress protector spray - that I couldn't resist. You can check out the full range here.

Have you tried this range? What did you think? Are you obsessed with Adairs too this year?!! I have my eye on a few items of furniture while their sale is on.


Monday, 8 September 2014

Win a Play Dough Tool Kit Thanks to Little Nest

Happy Monday, hope you enjoyed the weekend!

If you missed it yesterday, Sarah from Little Nest offered up some brilliant ways to occupy toddlers with some amazing Fine Motor Development ideas.

One of the ideas that all Toddlers love is without a doubt the good old Play Dough! Sarah is kindly offering one lucky reader the chance to win one of her fabulous Play Dough Tool Kits (valued at $60). 
This Tool Kit is definitely on my wish list as Mr B cannot get enough of Play Dough!!
For your chance to win, simply follow the Rafflecopter prompts below... 

Enter Here

Terms & Conditions

- The giveaway will be hosted by Rafflecopter and is open to Australian residents only
- The announcement of the lucky winner will be made on the Utterly Organised Facebook Page
- The lucky winner will have 5 days to contact Utterly Organised and claim their prize
- Failure to claim prize within designated period will result in another winner being drawn
- Entrants must like the Utterly Organised Facebook Page and the Little Nest Facebook page. Failure to comply with both entry requirements will result in an entrants entry being disqualified
- Any questions on the competition can be directed to utterlyorganised@gmail.com
Don't forget Sarah is kindly offering my readers free shipping on all orders over $50.00 for a limited time. Simply head to her Etsy shop and enter the code FREEDEL50 to take advantage of this great offer!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Keeping Little Hands Busy - Fine Motor Development Ideas for Toddlers

Today we have the lovely (and super clever) Sarah from Little Nest Busy Bags here to give you some ideas for keeping your little ones busy - goodness knows I need all the ideas I can get with a very active toddler on my hands...
As a mother of three boys under the age of 3, I am always looking for ways to keep my eldest occupied while I run around after his younger brothers!  Last year I launched "Little Nest Busy Bags" after discovering the Busy Bag concept of self-contained, portable, educational activities that keep your little ones occupied for short bursts of time.  Although I worked as an accountant before having children, my inner creative urges have finally found the perfect outlet in developing and creating my own unique Busy Bags for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
My Busy Bags are designed to help develop Alphabet, Counting, Colour, Patterning and Fine Motor Skills.  Some activities are better suited to toddlers aged 2 to 3 years, whilst other Busy Bags are aimed at pre-schoolers aged 4 to 5 years.  My oldest son is 29 months old and he has been enjoying playing with my Busy Bags since he turned 2.  It has been great to see the improvement in his ability to name colours, manipulate small objects and count to ten.
Fine motor development is a very important part of a child's physical skill set and the level of fine motor control is used to determine their developmental age.  Fine motor skills develop as the neurological system matures and by the age of 6 years, a child's fine motor skills have developed sufficiently to complete writing, dressing and feeding tasks.  It follows that the first 6 years of a child's life are vitally important for developing fine motor skills through toys, games and activities.
Playing with Play Dough is a fantastic way to help your child develop their fine motor skills and it also promotes imaginative play.  It is so simple to make your own Play Dough and the 'no-cook' recipes mean that you can whip up a batch in a matter of minutes.  It is great fun experimenting with different colours, scents and glitter!  

Sebastian's love for Play Dough inspired me to create a "Play Dough Kit" for him which contains everything we might need for a Play Dough session.  I found the perfect stackable storage case at K-mart and filled it with a rolling pin, cutters, matchbox cars, miniature plastic figures, glass pebbles, buttons, silicone cake cases, googly eyes, shell beads and popsicle sticks.  We use our "Play Dough Kit" every day without fail, and sometimes Seb wants to decorate Play Dough cakes, whilst other times he just wants to drive his matchbox cars across rolled out pieces of Play Dough!

I have created a compact "Play Dough Tool Kit" which can be purchased via my Etsy shop.  It contains a wonderful assortment of items to promote some truly imaginative play.

I have a whole host of Busy Bags which specifically target fine motor skills and provide toddlers and pre-schoolers with an excellent opportunity to practice this important area of development.
The "Australian Animals" and "Jungle Animals" Busy Bags are Colour/Type sorting activities featuring adorable plastic animal counters, but they also include a pair of Gator Tweezers for picking up the counters and developing fine motor skills.
One of the newest additions to my range is the "Koala Trailer" Busy Bag.  Although it is primarily a patterning activity, it requires your child to carefully place the koala counters in the plastic trailer and hence practice their fine motor skills.
The "Nuts & Bolts" Busy Bag is another activity designed to develop fine motor skills.  It contains 4 nuts and 4 bolts which must be matched on the basis of shape; only matching shaped nuts and bolts will fit together. 

A BIG thanks to Sarah for sharing some of her amazing ideas and products which can be purchased via her Etsy Shop. Mr B has several Little Nest busy bags and they have truly been a lifesaver whilst having a baby to feed and a toddler to occupy! If you are not sure what products would be best for your child, Sarah is amazing at offering up advice for your child's age and stage.

Sarah is also very kindly offering Utterly Organised followers Free Delivery on orders over $50 from her Etsy Shop using promotional code FREEDEL50 at the checkout, so it is a brilliant time to buy with Christmas (and long and short haul trips) so close!

And we will also have a giveaway starting tomorrow, so stay tuned for that! 

What activities do you do at home with your Toddlers that they love?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Project Extension: Weeks 5, 6 & 7 - We have a Frame!

As you may have guessed from the title - we have a frame!!

But this was up super quick - in less than two days in fact! And this was also back at the start of 5 week. So you may be wondering what else has been done in the space of almost 3 weeks... The truth is... not a lot!
We are a little bit disappointed that the builders have not been on site here for almost three weeks now. Sure I understand that builders have other jobs to work on simultaneously, but I think that a 3 week hiatus may be stretching the friendship a bit... well a lot.
During this little break, we have been trying to lock in the final colour choice for the exterior colours - the render and also the colour for the roof respray. A BIG thank you to all of those on my Facebook Page that gave me some advice here. It was because of you that we managed to select a roof colour that I had not even heard of, so thank you!!
Here's hoping for a bit more progress in week 8. Though for now, I am enjoying still sleeping in our bedroom and in our own bed.

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