#526 Blessing in disguise

As it has been for the last little while, we have been thinking and planning for our upcoming kitchen reno. And as I look forward with eagerness to the new, clean, fresh-looking cupboards and benchtops and appliances and work spaces, one little nagging thought has continually entered my mind…

Will I have any more storage space?

Storage for me, is a big thing. I am not just a hoarder. But in the kitchen, I do like to experiment. Cook like this, cook like that. I won’t ever say no to a different recipe, and if I fear a certain way of cooking/preparing/baking a dish, my curiosity and fascination always wins out and I do it anyway.

Curiosity is a powerful force. I find I rarely fail in these endeavours. I’m not saying I’m a Masterchef… but I do well.

So I have bagged up a few or so items/appliances/crockery/servingware in my culinary adventures. And I don’t intend on parting with them anytime soon… in fact, I plan on ADDING to the family.

Sheesh. Don’t tell Hubbie.

Which is why I look with concern as I scan my kitchen, my old, out-dated kitchen, NOW. I stare at it, squint my eyes, and think of the new kitchen… and I honestly don’t think there will be much additional storage.

This is a concern, because as mentioned in a post late last year, I still have about 7-8 boxes crammed-full of kitchen stuff, that currently does not fit in my kitchen. They have been piled into corners elsewhere, but currently are out of action…

Brow-furrowing issue. Hrmmmm….

Cue the inconvenient “gas heater break-down problem,” A.K.A. Blessing in Disguise.

So today, I found out, it probably wasn’t worth fixing our old heater that broke down on us last Friday morning. Sure, it could be repaired…. but after forking out even more $$$, there was no guarantee that another major issue wouldn’t occur for this almost 40 year old (not even exaggerating) heater that was seriously getting on.

Needing a new gas heater throws a spanner in the works, in that it obviously requires $$$, bills are coming in, we are focusing on the kitchen primarily, and also, it will need to be rejigged and refit outside.

Our current gas heater sits inside our house you see, right around the corner from the kitchen. It’s in the hallway, so almost in the kitchen. Ripping the old one out of the cupboard from there, will…

Leave the cupboard bare.

!!!

Despite the $$$ gas heater re-fit bill looming in my head, the storage lover in me could not help but see the beautiful potential.

The potential in turning the old gas heater cupboard, into another pantry/useful cupboard for my kitchen items.

Ta ding!

And just like that, a little bit like when I started this blog and was grateful that when that car hit me that fatefully annoying day in Feb of ’16, I slowly grew to be grateful for the fact that when he hit me, he hit my side, and so the car was less affected, and more easily repaired with just the removal of the back door.

This new gas heater will be a costly and time-consuming exercise, but when it is done, my kitchen will definitely have ample storage… and that, is nothing to squint at.

Grateful for our dying gas heater. Who would have thought?!

 

 

#483 Unpacking and Organisation

Today, another Sunday, and another really cruisy and chilled let’s-walk-around-the-house-and-see-what-we-can-find kinda day.

At some point, while Hubbie was taking a nap, and baby girl was watching some Paw Patrol, I decided to head into the wardrobes and check out my unpacked boxes. I didn’t actually unpack any – to be honest, these things sitting in these cardboard boxes, actually make it neater. Out of the box, and a lot of miscellaneous things lying around would only do my head in.

Eventually, I will organise properly, and group ‘like’ things together, also do a MASSIVE culling of ‘things,’ and put the remaining ‘stuff’ into pretty little boxes that make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’ve had random boxes in various rooms stacked up on top of each other for a while, those keepsakes that you want to keep, but don’t look at too often; those things that you need, but also, you don’t NEED too often.

All I did today, was go through every box, make sure there was a clear label on the front displaying what was in it, and stacked them up again neatly in the wardrobes.

I cleaned up a little. I condensed a bit. I found some things of interest too. A cute Japanese-style coin purse that I love. Pink wands for baby girl. A crystal candle holder I’d forgotten about. Everything else is neatly waiting in cardboard boxes now for Unpacking Boxes Judgement Day, but just knowing that at a glance, I know where EVERYTHING is, makes me really happy and in control.

Shit like this is super-important for a control freak.

And then at the end of the day, I found a purpose for an empty storage box I had, and turned this pile of baby girl’s DVDs sitting atop our bookcase

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into this neat pile

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It’s not a huge feat, and it didn’t require me to spend hours searching or organising. But in my ‘organisational travels’ today, I discovered where everything was and what I had, including some empty storage boxes, and so when I walked back into the family room hours later and happened to glance upon the pile of awkwardly piled DVDs in a place they shouldn’t be, I was reminded of the felt box that had made me think earlier ‘what can I put in that?’

Some people might balk at my excitement over organising the house, but outer order equals inner peace. I know this, because I am so rapt right now. It is addictive, and I can’t wait to get stuck into MORE tomorrow…

 

 

#439 Memories from my past

Today I was at my parents house, pointedly going through the wardrobe of my old room, looking for… ‘something.’

In my search though, I found LOTS OF THINGS.

Some made me smile. Some made me proud. Some I took home.

These items included:

·   an old diary from 2004 (it made me smile – damn my writing was perfect then!)

·   a water bottle and water bottle warmer (to take home – you never know when you need one)

·   old Uni essays from when I took ‘Classic Hollywood’ (that made me proud when I read bits and observed the score, and the teacher’s comments)

·   a photo scrapbook my bestie put together and gave me the day of my wedding day (that made me smile, AND I took it home!)

·   a Sex and the City make-up case that contained all 6 season DVDs, back when I bought the box set over a decade ago! (that I took home – I already have the DVDs with me, may as well complete the collection)

·   also a Sex and the City board game that I have never played (that I took with me of course, due to the former!)

and then, I found the ‘something’ I had been searching for:

Angel memorabilia – in the way of Angel magazines from 2004.

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🙂

Going through memory lane was a blast, and I will do it again and go through more of my old ‘things,’ when I unpack more boxes here at home.

Yes, I am still unpacking, 8 months on. Not many to go, but I need to sort nonetheless.

And the reason for my Angel memorabilia search? I am very confident that tomorrow’s gratitude post will reveal ALL the answers…

;););)

 

#379 She is growing up

While she was at kinder today, I went through some more boxes. I took out her toddler-sized kitchen plastic play set that has been tucked away since we packed it up, 5 months ago when we moved here.

I know she’d forgotten about it. When I lead her to the play area, and turned her around, she didn’t scream with excitement. Or clap excitedly. Her realisation was more of an increased dawning, so pleased but madly curious about all the odds and ends and rediscovery, that her outward excitement just had to wait. She had to explore, immediately.

I watched her move about ‘her kitchen.’ She turned nobs and dials like a master. She walked behind the ‘sink’ got a ‘pot,’ and with a ‘ladle’ started to spoon out some ‘soup’ into a ‘cup.’

Scoop, scoop, scoop she went. So expertly. She tipped it into the cup and handed it to me, telling me it was a bit hot. It took me hours to realise why she kept repeating this every time she handed me or Hubbie something to ‘eat’ tonight: I am constantly saying “Ouch! Hot!” every time she points at a pan or pot while I am cooking.

She is imitating me 🙂

She used to get frustrated with her kitchen play set, and start to throw things around: a plate here, a plastic fridge door there. She’d chew on the green knives and spoons, so much so that many have her teeth marks on them.

Now she moves about so comfortably. She packs her ‘cake,’ a ‘teapot’ and a cup, carefully into the fridge/pantry component of her kitchen. She adjusts them carefully, and then closes the door.

She is 3 and a half. Her maturity stuns me.

Later she sits with an activity book she is becoming re-acquainted with, after it was discovered after more of my earlier unpacking. It’s one of those ones where you add water to the thick cardboard paper, and watch it transform into colour as it hits the surface. She sits on the floor with a bowl of water next to her, diligently getting to work as she dips her finger in the bowl, and then moves it over the page, bringing the Finding Dory illustration to life.

She sits like that, for a while. Here was a girl who could barely stay focused on any one task for 5 minutes. And yet she does page after page, showing me her artwork in between, proudly smiling as I exclaim “did you do that?!”

A lot of it is kindergarten. Much of it is age too. And time must also play a factor. But I am flabbergasted, truly lost for words at the developmental progress, and the maturity that baby girl is displaying. Sure, she is still her cheeky self. Sure, there are times she will try to get away with more than she should. Sure, she still knows how to get a rise out of us.

But I can just see the difference. See this observational, particular, independent, creative and go-getting girl, developing.

And I couldn’t be prouder.

And sure, parenting is hard. Really, really hard at times.

But then it is amazing. Joyful. Unbelievably rewarding. It can have you feeling higher than a kite, falling to your knees in blessed wonder, and shedding tears of happiness and hilarity at once.

It is the best thing, EVER. And it’s because it is LOVE, manifested.

I love that description.

A child is LOVE, manifest. And watching that LOVE grow and develop into something beyond your wildest dreams…

Words cannot describe. Although I have done my best to. I will now stop.

Grateful, is an understatement of the highest magnitude.

 

#329 kikki.K Parcel

Now, if you’ve been following this blog or my smikg blog, you may have come across those above words a couple of times now.

Because when you receive a box like this, well you just have to place an order, again, and again, AND again.

I was desperate for my 2017 planner/calendar to hang up on our fridge again. I was not near a kikki.K for purchase of one at the start of the year, and not knowing when I would be, or how long it would take (and being severely impatient for one) I decided to just order the damn thing.

And a tape dispenser too. Because we are getting a new desk, so why not.

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Also, it meant free shipping. (kikki.K must love consumers like me).

Until 2017 kicked off I hadn’t really noticed how much I depended on the planner which had become a regular point of reference for us last year, and which had moved house with us, helping us to stay somewhat organised amidst boxes, insanity, and heaps of bubble wrap.

When my 2016 planner came off the fridge on Jan 1st, I was at a loss. What? No dates to look forward to? When would I pay my bills? How could I know what was happening over the next week at a glance? How would I avoid double-booking an appointment when I didn’t have a handy reference for everything happening in our lives?

(Baby girl loves kikki.K boxes too)

I promptly received the parcel yesterday, in its signature HUGE box, and tonight I got the chance to start penning some dates, amounts, and events into the calendar. And it felt sooooo good.

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I love this planner. It is just the bomb.

(More kikki.K love here…. seriously, if any powers that be execs want to pay me for these posts, please, I would be more than happy to accept…)

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#265 I’m bringing baking back… YEAH

It’s been a good day, even though we stayed home… half imposed upon, half because I needed it. I decided to do something with baby girl after lunch, both to excite us a little and also because like the above, I needed it.

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If there is a blogger out there who continually and repetitively posts pics of the same dishes they make, over and over, well let me know. Kindred spirit. These baked cinnamon doughnuts with Nutella filling are super easy, which is why it’s so fun to bake them again and again. And they’re great to make with a little one who possesses curious fingers, curious eyes, and a curious mind (or in other words, an impatient and sweet-toothed toddler!)

But I also had to make them, to prove a point to myself. I recently crammed all the kitchen items that were worthiest and used most by me, into this old 80s-style kitchen in our new home. I was feeling down when I still had all my kitchen stuff packed in boxes and shoved to one corner of the room, and then when I found out our kitchen reno may be further away than we thought, I was shattered. I felt out of control. I couldn’t cook how I liked, my stuff was everywhere, and now I felt like it was going to remain that way for months to come.

But then I firmly took matters into my own hands. I unpacked what I could, and in doing so regained control. And though its not an everyday task for me, I took out my most used baking instruments, therefore assuring myself that I COULD do, and bake, whatever I liked, whenever I liked.

It was this small yet large action that helped me. And the icing on the cake? Actual baking. Today.

Baby girl couldn’t contain her excitement, with those cheeky fingers getting into the mixing bowl a few too many times. It was great. I did it for her, I did it for me, and I did it for us. And knowing there will be many more cakes and muffins and doughnuts makes me excited that I have control of my life back and things will be getting better. Sooner than we even know it 🙂

#262 Boxes be gone!

I was going to write about a completely different gratitude post this morning, inspired by the peaceful blissfulness of the rolling hills and sun rising in the distance as I drove into work… but another day.

Today, boxes.

Boxes, boxes, boxes. Or in my joyous case today, lack of.

We did it. Tonight we tackled the pile of boxes that had been left to gather dust in the corner of our kitchen/meals area. We have a little nook to put them into while we wait for our kitchen reno, so they are still visible, but they are out of the way and neat and tidy, which is where the points come in peeps. I took out what I used most from the boxes, we condensed those boxes into even fewer boxes, and then Hubbie positioned the boxes like a real-life Tetris game, into the kitchen nook.

Ahhh. We actually have free room to move in our meals area! We started running with baby girl just for emphasis, and even she was rapt.

I know it will take time, but I am grateful we’ve taken this first huge, massive, monumental step.

I am so grateful the boxes, are almost gone.

Next room to tackle: the rumpus. Stay tuned…