Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Project Cubby House: What is it all about?

So you're looking for a cubby house?! It can be just about as confusing as buying a real house can't it?
Well if you know you want a cubby for your little ones, but don't know where the heck to start, then I hope that you will find my Project Cubby House series a great help over the next week.

If you follow me on Facebook, you will have seen me post a few sneak peeks at the Tuff Cubby house that we have been putting together recently - I cannot wait to show you it all finished!
During this series I will be:
- Reviewing the Tuff Cubbies Havana Cubby House
- Showing you a Step by Step guide on what is involved to take this from a pile of wood panels to a backyard masterpiece!
- The Step by Step guide will also cover:

*Building a base
*How to paint
*Just how easy it is (or not) to complete
*How long you are going to need to complete the project
- Sharing budget friendly ideas to decorate your finished cubby as well as sharing my completed cubby house of course!
I also have a very special (and exclusive) reader offer to purchase a Tuff Cubby for yourself. So if you are in the market for a cubby for Chrissie time, you won't want to miss this!
And there will also be a wee little giveaway to win some amazing little things to furnish your own cubby too.
As always, if there is something specific that you want me to cover during my posts, please feel free to email, private message or simply comment below...

Monday, 27 October 2014

My Must Have Buys to Organise a Home Office on a Budget

{Post brought to you in conjunction with TGC, the specialists in commercial real estate office space options in Sydney)}
My office space is a little nook that we created when we did an extension a few years ago. It was a bit of a void space in a living room extension (due to our funny block and house position) and so we decided to convert the space in to a little area for me and it has worked brilliantly.
Because this space is so teeny tiny, it is really important that I keep it tidy and organised, otherwise it becomes a bit claustrophobic in here!
As you know, I am firm believe that you don't need to spend big bucks to get organised. So today I share a few of my favourite budget office organising buys that I have in my home to tame and organise my office space.

The Inspiration and Organisation Board

Image Source and to Buy
It organises, sorts and inspires and is an absolute steal at $7.99 from Ikea.
Customise yours with a sample pot of paint around the frame to match the colour scheme in your office. You will find mine painted in mint - of course!

The humble pin board is my absolute must buy for any office space.

The Paperwork, Letter and File Organiser

Image Source and To Buy
Typo is such a haven for budget friendly Office Organisation ideas.
I adore this Mail Box stand, it is not just great for letters and bills, but I use mine as a bit of a storage unit for my notepads, lists, diary and bits and pieces. It is much more compact than the traditional rack desk organiser (and so much prettier) if you are short on space like me.
Hard to believe it is only $9.99 (and even less if you wait til the next 30% off sale like I did!).

The Filing Cabinet

Filing cabinets can be darn expensive. If you are organising a home office and don't really need a lock feature to secure your office items, then consider masquerading a bedside table as a filing cabinet, I have!
Image Source and To Buy
Check budget friendly furniture shops such as Fantastic Furniture, Super A Mart and even the Reject Shop for a basic drawer unit that shouldn't cost you more than $50.00.
This particular unit is from Deals Direct and is a great buy for only $49.00.

The All in One Organiser

Store, Organise and Stash Pins, Paperclips, Washi Tape, Stamps, Elastic Bands, Pens - the list goes on!
Image Source and To Buy
Image Source and To Buy
For only $3.95, these Mason Jars (top image) from Typo can organise just about everything in your home office.
The Skurar Candle Holder (bottom image) from Ikea is $2.99 and another perfect budget option to store your office essentials.

So there you have it, just a few ideas from my own little office space.

Do you have any budget office organising buys that you would care to share? Love to hear them...

Friday, 24 October 2014

Project Extension: Weeks 10 to 15 - Are we done yet?!

I know, long time no post when it comes my Project Extension updates.
I knew it was time to pull my finger out again when I received an email this week that went along these lines...
Hi Allison,
I love reading your blog and have enjoyed the updates on your extension. I notice that you haven't written about them for a while, you must almost be finished?
Firstly thank you Sarah for the email (I love receiving messages and emails from you guys!). You would be absolutely right to assume that given we started this old extension way back in July that we should be finished... But Sarah, sadly this couldn't be further from the truth.
You see up until last week, the builders hadn't done a whole lot since my last update 4 whole weeks ago. We had the roof tiles finally put on - and after weeks of trying to keep rain and water out of our exposed roof - this couldn't have come a moment too soon.
Last week was a bit more of a bumper week - we had most of the guttering put up, our windows finally arrived (the builder realised they hadn't ordered a few weeks ago and of course there were delays) some of the internal plastering started and the house was 'wrapped' - whatever that means.
As you can see from the below, the extension is actually starting to look like a proper little house now!

Next week is supposed to be another biggie with the rest of the guttering completed (on the older parts of the house), the bricks getting done, the internal plastering and the roof tiles getting completed. But these days I try not to get my hopes up too much, because after weeks and weeks of frustration, no work being done and endless delays, I am trying to hang in there and finally see that the end could be near.
We are all sleeping in Mr B's room and the novelty of 'camping' it out is starting to wear a little thin.
I am cheering myself up by selecting paint colours, blinds and some new furniture...
What do you guys think so far?! Next week I hope to share some internal shots - exciting!!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Entertaining Outdoors: Ideas to Create the WOW Factor

{Sponsored Post}
Can you imagine the gasps of wonder as guest step into your backyard, taking in the truly brilliant area you have created? With some fairly simple solutions you can revamp your yard to look like a wonderland. Read on to find out how.


Start with the Bottom

Bring out the comfort of the indoors with some sleek timber decking. Decks are far warmer and more inviting than tiles, pavers or concrete, really making your guests feel at home. For a smooth transition from the inside to the outside you can raise the deck to the same height as the internal floor. Though decks are amazing, it is important to match the aesthetic of the house.
Image Source
For advice on decking and patio installations talk to building experts like Additions Building.


The Roof Above your Head

Patios are a comfortable place that is protected from the sun and rain. Depending on their use, a patio can be just about any design, shape or size. Very open designs are great for relaxing in a little shade while staying out in the weather, perfect for by the pool. Other designs can be very enclosed, like an outdoor room, protected from wind, rain and sun with lattice screens as walls or windows. Patios are nice to have attached to the house, but a real eye opener could be separated, standing alone and connected by a timber path.

Give your Guest Somewhere to Sit

Make your guests comfortable with plenty of furniture to sit and rest on. Good strong materials are important for durability out in the elements. You need to consider how many people you expect to entertain, then look at getting timber table and chairs to fit that number. Timber furniture can be uncomfortable to sit on, so consider some outdoor cushions that match your colour scheme. Some water proof couches are fantastic for a cosy seating solution.
Outdoor Daybed from Bunnings
Storage outside can sometimes be an issue, without having an ugly container or cupboard. Consider a storage bench to serve two purposes at once with some pillows on for comfort.


Even Your Fence can be Amazing

Bland and ugly exterior fences can ruin all the hard work of making an amazing outdoor entertaining area. Brick walls can be painted into a feature wall that grabs the attention of your guests and brings the whole area together. On larger walls mosaics can be placed for an artistic depth in the area. For timber fences, you can install a timber screen to cover up the eyesore and create a beautiful backdrop. You can even grow a vine through the screen to add life to the garden.


Outdoor Fireplace

Not much says wow in a backyard like a roaring fire. A fireplace can be utilised in so many different way in your entertainment area. It becomes a focal point that quest can sit around, it provides warmth in winter, you can cook from it and smoke is a natural insect repellent. Depending on your own style, you can start from a small fire bowl, a fire pit or ever a large outdoor fireplace with a chimney.
Image Source
It is up to you to decide how you style your backyard, but with just a few of these ideas you are sure to give your garden the wow factor for your guests.
What else can you do to make your outdoor entertainment area unforgettable?

Monday, 20 October 2014

tiny and i Teething Necklace Review and Giveaway

Miss C is one high maintenance baby girl. She arrived in to this world with a love of shoes and jewellery - both to chew on of course!
This little lady can spot a necklace or a pair of earrings a mile away. In fact a few months ago I was in a store admiring a necklace. That little lady cried so much until I gave her the necklace, so to save a complete meltdown I of course paid for it and promptly left the store - have you ever done this very manoeuvre before?! It is one I try and avoid at all costs (literally!).
When I heard about tiny and i teething necklaces I thought all my Christmases had come at once. Not only are these non toxic and baby safe necklaces, but they are very stylish for Mum to wear too!
The beads on the necklaces are made from the same safe (and soft) silicone that you will find in your babies bottles and dummies.
They are also waterproof, heat resistant and for safety feature a clever breakaway clasp.

The biggest dilemma when buying these is picking a colour - as you can see, there are SO many gorgeous colour combos to choose from.
In typical Allison style (she who loves all things mint!), I  opted for the 'Capri' set in the Fruit Loop necklace range, and is nothing short of gorgeous.
I wear a lot of neutrals, navy and mint so this colour combo with beads in emerald, chocolate, blush, mint, pebbly, navy and sky blue tones is perfect - it works with just about everything I own and wear.

And the little lady just LOVES it, and this Mum just LOVES anything that will keep her amused for longer than 10 seconds - win!
The Fruit Loop Necklaces are priced at $38.00 and would make the most amazing baby shower or new baby gift, especially for the Mum who has everything or the second time Mum.
tiny and i have very kindly offered my readers the chance to win their very own Fruit Loop Necklace - you get to pick which one of course!
To enter simply follow the Rafflecopter prompts below....

Enter Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and 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
- Any questions on the competition can be directed to
Good luck everyone!
What colour combo are you loving from the range?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Bargain of the Week... The Doormat

There are two things that you probably know about me by now:
1. That I love to Shop
2. That I love a good Bargain
So it only seemed natural to start up a little segment on the blog called Bargain of the Week!
Each week I hope to share with my favourite bargain that I have come across, that is frankly too good not to share.
More than likely it will be shared with grainy camera phone pics (taken on the run with two kids no doubt crying/screaming as I fly through the shops!). But if you can pardon the photo quality, hopefully you will see a shiny bargain buy waiting for you!
Without further adieu, I present the first BOTW (Bargain of the Week) - the Doormat.
Sure, I may not have a front door due to this extension (nor looking like getting one in the next 20 years at the rate our builders are working at), but boy when I do, my front doorstep is going to be looking pretty fabulous!
These doormats are a measly $6 - I know, I couldn't believe it either! Don't let the $10 price tag in the picture fool you, these babies are scanning at 6 bucks (though even at $10 it is still quite the steal)!
They are available at the Reject Shop - well they were when I picked them up this week - but be quick at this price.
I picked up the two prints as I couldn't decide between the two. I plan to use the bottom one (which I think is a bit better quality) for our new porch and the teal and white version for the cubby house.
They are very, very similar to a doormat that I have seen in a Furniture shop starting with F for $30.00.
What do you think? Bargain or what?
What bargains have you found this week? And what bargain would you like me to find you next?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Miss C's Christening - Part 1: The Dress & Accessories Post and that Gorgeous Bangle from G by Gabrielle!

For those of you that follow my Facebook Page, you will know that a few weeks ago we celebrated Miss C's Christening.

We had her Christened at 8 months (can you believe she is already 8 months?!) which is the same age as Mr B when we celebrated his Christening. If you are new around these parts, you can catch all of the details of his Peter Rabbit themed Christening which we celebrated two years ago here and here.
Instead of overloading you with all of the details of the day, I thought that I would split it in to two posts with the first covering the all important outfit and accessory details!

She refused to get a picture without her hairbrush - no idea where she gets it from?! Haha
When I posted a sneak peek at her outfit on Facebook and Instagram of her outfit, I received a number of messages and emails about her amazing personalised bangle.
As such I thought that I would share a bit more information on this first up. The bracelet is by an amazing Melbourne lady called Gabrielle, who runs her own business called G by Gabrielle making handcrafted jewellery that is ah-mazing!
Gabrielle sells these stunning 'Princess Bangles' for girls and gals of all ages. These are personalised with an initial/initials of your choice and prices start at $129 for a bangle suitable for ages 6-12 months right up to 11-13 years.
This was our special little gift to Miss C, as our Princess needed the Princess Bangle of course!
I can personally remember being a little girl and having the exact same style of bangle permanently attached around my wrist for many, many years growing up. I wanted to give Miss C something that I cherished and adored so much myself growing up, and I love how it is extra special with the personalised charm with her initial.
When the sad day does come that she grows out of this down the track, I plan to recycle the charm to use on a necklace, it really will remain a keepsake that she can continue to wear.

Because I loved the bangle SO much, I couldn't resist getting one for myself too. Gabrielle also sells these in a ladies size for $149 so that you can have a Mummy & Me matching set like we have!
Instead of having my initials, I have opted to have a B and a C for my two gorgeous kiddies. It really is so special to wear and I get so many compliments on it when I am out and about (it never comes off!). Note to husbands out there - this would be a great Chrissie gift for a Mummy or Grandmummy personalised with the kids or grandkiddies initials!
Gabrielle has very, very kindly offered my readers the chance to purchase the bangle (or any of her amazing range) at a special 20% off for the month of October. So it is an absolutely perfect time to treat your little Princess, your Grandma or yourself with a piece of stunning, personalised jewellery that you will wear to death.
To redeem, simply head to the G by Gabrielle website and enter the code UTTERLY at check out and save yourself 20% off your order.
As for the rest of the outfit...

The Dress is the Occasion Dress from Seed. It is chiffon with a gorgeous sequined bodice (every girl needs a bit of sparkle right?!).
I managed to purchase it at a 20% off VIP sale after realising that the dress I did have her, no longer fitted a few weeks out (talk about panic!). I absolutely love the dress and think she will get a lot of wear out of it over the festive season - so I keep telling my husband... 
Her fur cardi was by Baker Baby by Ted Baker and it was just gorgeous! I purchased it from Myer at the end of Winter sales and it was reduced from a crazy $60.00 to around $28.00.

The little Silver Mouse shoes are also by Seed (that place is a total money pit for me!), I couldn't resist and also nabbed these on sale too.
The headband was actually made by me! I ordered her a headband from the US but it never arrived in time - typically it arrived the day after the event!
I was in a bit of a panic the night before, so decided to make her one using the flower that I wore in my hair at our wedding day.
I actually think that it is a bit more special that what I had planned so all was not lost :-)
And lastly the gorgeous, gorgeous sequin hanger is by the super lovely Natalie from Each Day with Jay. This actually sits on her bedroom door and proudly displays her special (or not so special) outfits for the day. I will be featuring more on these gorgeous hangers when I do her room reveal very, very soon - don't blame me, blame the builders for the hold up!!
Well that concludes Part 1, I will be back soon with Part 2 that will cover her special morning tea table and the other special details of the day. if you have any questions, as always please feel free to contact me or comment below.
Don't forget to head over to G by Gabrielle and check out the stunning Princess Bangle for your Princess (or yourself) and check out the rest of her beautiful range while you are at it!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Organising my Closet for Spring and Summer and My Clothes Sale

Happy Sunday Folks!
I have been spending most of my weekend knee deep in my closet this weekend trying to sort, organise, purge and sell off some of my clothes. I have also donated a heap to charity along the way.
I literally have 4 closets full to the brim of clothes, so it is definitely time for a big clean up before my new walk in robe is ready. Which at the rate our extension is going, won't be for another 40 years - haha!
During the week I purchased these Aldi space saving hangers and cannot wait to replace all of my mis-matched regular hangers with these and see if they really do save some space - will report back on that soon!
I created a Facebook album to sell off some of my clothes yesterday. If you missed it, some new things have been added and a few things are still for sale and you can access the album via Facebook here.
I plan to continue the sort today, so will be adding some new things for sale during the day today (Sunday) and over the next week or so too, so keep your eye on the Facebook page if you are after some new things for Spring and Summer!
Anything not sold on the page will be listed on Ebay - such a BIG job!
I am sad to let go of many of my pretty dresses like these ones, but I am planning to pool my money together for a new dining table and looking forward to simplifying my closet - watch this space!
If you are after a few tips on Organising your own closet, here is a post that a created a while ago.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Gender Neutral Doll or Play House Ideas

Mr B is at that age where he just loves his pretend play. Our Toy Kitchen, Wooden Farm and Market Stall/Food Crates are on high rotation at the moment.

Mr B socialises with a lot of 'little ladies' in our circle of friends and always gravitates towards playing with the gorgeous doll houses that they have out to play with. So recently I purchased for him these cheapo doll sets from K-Mart.
Image Source and To Buy

Yup, yet again another amazing K-Mart buy for only $10.00 a set! If you are interested, there are also a few other styles in the range. We also have a 'Career Set' in our little collection. Because he loves playing with these so much, I decided to look for a little play/doll house.
Well finding something that was 'gender neutral' proved to be quite the tricky task! I tried my usual haunts (Big W, Target, Kmart etc), with absolutely no luck. Don't get me wrong, there are some stunning ones out there, but I wanted something that wasn't an explosion of pink, that both of my kids could enjoy and that would still look nice when moved to our new open play area (part of the extension) in the near future.
These are two great options if you are on the hunt for something similar at your home...

DIY Doll House

I originally found this fabulous idea on the amzing world of Pinterest - how clever is it?!

Image Source

All you need is one Ikea Kallax Unit (which retails for only $48 in Australian stores), Wall Paper samples (gotta love the free Master's ones) and away you go!
With a bit of wallpaper and imagination, you can style this little unit up to suit the colours of your house/playroom.
I also love that once the kids get tired of this, that you have yourself a perfectly good cube unit that you can use around the house.

From Hip Kids...

If you don't feel like a bit of DIY, then one of my favourite stores - Hip Kids - may have something to tickle your fancy...

Image Source and To Buy
Oh my goodness I was so excited when I saw this online - talk about the perfect fit, price, colour - everything! It was on sale (reduced from $199) to $139, so I knew that it was too good to pass up!

The set comes with all of the dolls and furniture included (these alone are a small fortune to buy). The house is a great size and it is a perfect colour match for our house too with the soft grey and white palette you see!

The only negative may be that it won't be big enough for when Miss C gets in to Barbie Dolls. But I can imagine that by this stage Mr B will not want to go near a doll and Miss C will want something pink!

As you can see it has been an absolute hit at our place and Miss C is itching to be able to stand up and join in the fun! I tell you, I cannot wait til this extension is done and I can finally have a nice big space for the toys. Right now I feel like everything is just so cluttered in our temporary space. Patience, patience, patience!!

Do you have a great dollhouse? Love to hear what your kids adore playing with at the moment...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Missoni for Target Range

Oh how I love it when Target brings out a 'Designers for Target' range and the Missoni Range is no exception.
If you have missed it, Target Australia are bringing to our sunny shores a limited edition Missoni Collection. This exclusive range will only be in selected Australian stores - you can read all about the locations here - and I believe online too. I am a bit excited as my two locals are on the list - yay!!
The collection is available from next Wednesday 8th of October - so set your alarm clock and mark the date in your diary if you are keen to check it out!
The range is quite comprehensive (and varied) and features clothing for Ladies, Men and Babies and Kids. There is also swimwear, accessories and even footwear too.
There is also a vast Home and Lifestyle section that even extends to a pet bowl and two styles in a dog collar and lead set!
You can check out the full range and make a 'wish list' right here before these go on sale later next week.
Here are a few things on my list...
Baby Feeding Set $30.00

Placemat and Napkin Set $35.00

Dog Collar & Lead Set $25.00

Women's Wrap Dress $79.00

Women's Scarf $49.00

Women's Chemise $59.00

Baby Girl Nappy Pant Set $20.00

Girls Bathers Set $30.00
As usual, more on the list for Miss C than for me! But oh my, wouldn't that feeding set make an amazing baby shower gift?
I find it so hard to read these 'Designer' ranges. They either sell out like hotcakes, or the stock sticks around til it is so heavily reduced and you kick yourself for paying full price. What do you think will happen this time? Do you have your eye on anything?
Please note this post is not sponsored, but I would happily accept my wish list for free if you read this Target - I wish!! :-)
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