Thursday, June 28, 2007

Get Enertaining...

We all love to have friends around and entertain, and making our home a welcoming one is an important part of that. Getting organised in the kitchen and pantry you will find the desire to entertain Friends comes easily.
Being organised means the unexpected guest will not throw you into a mad panic, and a planned event will be a breeze. Some of the things you can do to be an “Organised Host” include:

Know your best recipes and Menus that never fail. – Choose dishes that have been a success in the past

Have a pre prepared shopping list for those dishes – Print and laminate these lists, including suppliers of tricky ingredients.

Have a Folder to include the Menus and Shopping lists stored with your favorite recipe books.
Try one new recipe a week on yourself – never try a new recipe on unsuspecting guests.

Invest in a recipe book holder – with a plastic or laminate front to protect pages.

Always keep staple non perishable items in your pantry – check every 3 months for expiry dates and freshness.

Ensure your kitchen is “zoned” – Areas are food storage, preparation, baking, service, cleaning etc. Keep each area ready for its designated duty.

Always store like with like – this applies to food, appliance, crockery, cutlery etc

Look to use slide out shelves and racks if you are short on space in the kitchen.

Always stack a pantry with taller items at the back and shorter at the front, so you can see what is in the pantry.

Don’t be afraid to label shelves and containers – makes things much easier to find.

Have a “Entertaining Zone” – This is used to keep together all the items you need when you have guests. Good Crockery, Napkins, Wine Glasses, Cutlery etc. Make sure everyone in the family knows where this is. So anyone can help if you have unexpected guests, as they all know where the “Good” items are kept.

Get rid of things you no longer need, have two of, never use or are broken (chances are you will not get it fixed). Some of these are Old Candles, Scruffy napkins, tablecloths etc, chipped crockery etc
Always have a secret hideaway in your home – This is the place you can hide mess if you do wind up with unexpected guest, and your home is messy. Just remember to get the things out and put away after the guest have gone.

Jennifer Manson from Home Style once told me that “it is the welcome that your guest receives that matters most, make them feel at home and the hard work is done. Never apologies for the state of your home, as this just draws attention to it”.
If you use just a couple of the above tips then you are well on the way to becoming and organised host. So relax and enjoy some good company, which is what really

Thursday, June 14, 2007

ME Time, yeah right!

When we think about being Organised we tend to think of physical space, clutter and being on time. Recently I have been fortunate to take part in an exercise that has made me look at being organised enough to have time to myself. Part of this is making the commitment to value myself and my time.
I have recently begun Boot Camp fitness training, with wonderful results. This would not have been possible though if I did not schedule time for me. I like many of you have a family, friends, work and life to get on with and often neglect “me time”. One of the first issues I was how to ensure I did the work I needed to achieve good results, without compromising the other people and things in my life. The things I have learnt and managed are:
* Remember that having “me” time is a necessity and not a treat.
* Learn to be a bit selfish as the results will benefit everyone
* Open your diary and schedule an appointment with yourself (I did this on day one of the challenge, and put in all gym, training and appointments for the whole 12 weeks)
* Don’t cancel appointments with yourself, unless it involves sick kids or illness. You can schedule other people and things at other times.
* If needed wake up earlier to get an extra hour.
* Give yourself at least 4 scheduled appointments a week, and use them.
* Use your “me” time wisely. Workout, walk, bike, movie, dinner with friends, read a book whatever you want.
* Lastly “me” time is NOT for washing, cleaning, errands, housework or anything else that does not nurture you.
I would love to hear about any success you have with scheduling time for your self, and remember if you have any questions about Organising e-mail me on