Travel Tuesday: Packing Cubes

How to Pack an Organised Suitcase

Travel has become more complicated today. Most airlines have placed  restrictions on the weight and number of pieces of luggage that can be checked in or taken aboard a plane. This has put a lot of pressure on travellers to pack lighter and simpler. Anything that makes travel less stressful is a bonus as far as I am concerned.

I have found that I can make sure that nothing is forgotten, and that I can find whatever I need when I need it, by using suitcase organisers such as packing cubes. They are a perfect solution to my packing problems.


What are packing cubes?

Packing cubes are small, ultra lightweight zippered bags that are often rectangular in shape (go figure). They come in a variety of sizes and are designed to fit into carry-on bags, backpacks, duffles and checked in luggage. If your trip is only for a weekend, then you may not need packing cubes, but for any longer, they are a fantastic idea.



Minimise wrinkles.

When the New York Times asked flight attendants how they packed over 40 garments in a single suitcase, the universal answer: roll your clothes to save space. When you roll instead of folding, you’ll find that you can fit more outfits and maximise the available space. But if you want your clothes to stay rolled, that’s where a packing cube comes in handy. It ensures that every time you open your suitcase, your rolled clothes stay exactly where they need to be. (


Organise clothing.

Packing cubes allow you to organise your clothing into categories – underwear, t-shirts, pants etc. You don’t have to rummage around in your suitcase in search of an item; just take the appropriate cube out.


You can also sort your clothing into outfits, or if you are travelling through different climate zones, into lightweight or warmer groupings.


Where to Buy.

Depending on how much you want to spend, you can find packing cubes in specialist luggage stores or online. Here are some links for you. These are just a few. Happy searching.


Light In the Box




anxiety, mindfulness, organisation

Thursday’s Question

Thursday’s Question

Thursday is Question Day, so here is today’s question.

What is your favourite essential oil?


My Answer:

I have two faves.  Lavender and Wild Orange. I use DoTerra oils. I do not sell them but I appreciate the quality of their oils.

Lavender was my Nanna’s perfume. She wore Yardley Lavender every day. Even today, a half century she she passed away, the scent brings her back to me.

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Lavender has been used for centuries to relieve tension and insomnia. It is a most versatile oil and is a must in my house. Uses include:-

  • soothing skin – acne, razor burn, skin nourishment (masks, moisturiser)
  • cuticle care
  • deodorising the home – a few drops of oil in a spray bottle of water – blissful.
  • sleep promotion – add to the bath or diffuser
  • cooking – lavender cake -yum
  • easing stress and anxiety – apply topically (dilute with fractionated coconut oil) or diffuse


Wild Orange

Wild Orange is strongly scented oil. It has an immediate uplifting property that I really like, almost like it is energising the air. I love diffusing it in my office. It gives me the energy and focus to work on accomplishing my goals.




What is your favourite?  Please comment below, and don’t forget to say how you use your favourite oils to enhance your wellbeing and lifestyle.




anxiety, organisation, productivity

Planned Clean


When it comes to keeping my house clean and tidy, I like the K.I.S.S. method of attack -Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The routine has to be relatively quick and easy. I have other things to be doing besides cleaning.

This method of doing the cleaning ensures that the tasks do not become so big that they seem monumental which would cause me to become anxious. Then I would be too busy worrying about the house being a mess (thus making myself a wreck) to actually be able to take care of the mess.

So here’s how I do it.

Make the bed straightaway.    It’s a little thing, but having the bed made makes the room look much neater and gives a sense of accomplishment. I know that may sound silly, but it’s true. Leaving the room looking “done”, with the windows open so that fresh air can come through (weather permitting, of course), sets me up for the day. One job done – check!

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Load the washing machine. 

Next, I gather up the dirty laundry and get the washing machine going before turning on the coffee maker. It can be doing its job while I have breakfast.

Unpack dishwasher. 

During the day, dishes are rinsed and put into the dishwasher so that it can be run in the evening.

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Pick up and Replace

After breakfast, I do a quick sweep of the living areas, picking up anything that has been left lying around. These things are then put back where they belong….or in the bin as the case may be.

One Big Chore

This might be vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom, mopping the hard floors, dusting, changing bed linen etc. You know the regular jobs that have to be done on a regular basis. Doing one a day means that you aren’t left with a mountain of work to do on the weekend. When I was still going out to work (I was a teacher for many years), I saved changing the beds for Saturdays because it took the longest to do. Otherwise this part of the routine would be left until I came home from school. Nowadays, I can get it done before I come down to my little office to get to work.

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Laundry Part 2

Transfer laundry from washer to clothes line or dryer. All that is left then is to fold the clothes as they come out of the dryer or off the line. DO NOT just bundle them all into the basket and think that you’ll fold them later. That is just adding another job and it often doesn’t get done. Then you have a basket of crumpled clothes. I hate ironing. If I fold right away it cuts the ironing down to virtually nothing.

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How Long? 

This whole routine takes less than a hour most days and enables me to keep on top of the mess and mayhem. Bear in mind that here are only two humans and two fur kids living in our house and that for larger families, it will undoubtedly take longer. Believe me, I remember the battles I had getting kids to pick up their stuff and put it away. My kids didn’t mind being part of the process as a rule but we certainly had our moments when it came to cleaning their rooms.

So, that is my K.I.S.S. cleaning routine. It helps keep my mind calm and my home clean and organised.

Planned Cleaning – Love It.

Here are some stickers for your planner to help you organise your routine.

                          Download them here.

Cleaning Stickers





anxiety, organisation, planning, productivity

What’s On My Desk.

Happy New Year! 

To start the new year, I thought I would show you my workspace.

As you know, my husband and I have recently moved into our new home. I have a little office on the ground floor. It is a lovely place for me to work. The walls are painted a soft grey (like the rest of the house) and the trims are white. There are French doors which open out onto a little courtyard – at least, they will one day when the retaining wall and courtyard have been completed. As I write this, I have a view of the rock wall and the upper level.


I have shelves along one wall, complete with television (The Big Bang Theory is my fave show.) and all my reference books. Can you see my broom in the corner? I think it is a Nimbus 2000. The teal baskets store everything from small books to things like hole punches, camera cables, and CDs


Then, there is a small work bench which carries my printer, paper trimmer, and laminator. Underneath (thankfully cut out of the photo because they are a bit messy looking) are my paper supplies. The whiteboard is where I scribble ideas for upcoming books and works in progress.  The Medal Muddle is the children’s book I am working on at the moment.

IMG_1140On the other wall are my desk and another table placed at right angles to it. I don’t like my desk to be too cluttered, so the extra table allows me to have everything I need close to hand but not crowding me. I always scribble paper and pens and pencils beside me to make quick notes that are later transferred to my planners.

My laptop is on the side table. I always back up my book files to the laptop so that a) I have an extra copy and b) so that I can have them with me when we travel.



Also on the side table are my Silhouette machine and my planners.

Mini Happy Planner: Gratitude Journal

Erin Condren Life Planner:  2017 Planner

Kikki K Gold:  This year’s daily planner

Kikki K Black and White:  Business planner

Mint:  Useful bits and pieces

Blog Planners x 2

The Kikki K ones are usually on the desk when I am working.


And finally I have my diffuser which sends delicious vapour through the office. Today it is providing calming whiffs of Balance Blend from Doterra.


My office space makes me fell serene and motivated. I love coming down here everyday.

There is room in the middle of the room for my yoga mat so I start my mornings in a positive and invigorating way.

I think having a work space that is comfortable, welcoming, and which holds things that appeal to your eye is most important for your productivity. My office provides comfort, invokes inspiration and motivation, and definitely makes me a more productive person.

It also makes me happy and that, to me, is the most important thing. If I am happy and smiling, I am calmer, less anxious, less reactive to negative stimuli. That is a huge positive for me.

I love my office. I hope you have enjoyed seeing it.






mindfulness, organisation

Christmas Memories

Christmas is an interesting time of year.

It seems to bring out the best and worst in people.  You see random acts of kindness and you see the most incomprehensible pieces of idiocy.  It puts a dent in one’s wallet but fills the heart with happiness as families come together to celebrate.

When one is very young, the time from one Christmas to the next seems so very long.  I can remember waiting and waiting for the November page to be torn from the calendar  – the signal that Christmas was just around the corner.


Here in Australia Christmas is hot and often steamy, not the Christmas weather one sees depicted on Christmas cards.  These days Christmas lunch at my house consists of a variety of meats, some hot, some not, seafood and array of interesting salads. But my memory reminds me annually of the holiday seasons of my childhood.


When my Nanna was alive, the whole family would arrive at her place for what she called a proper Christmas. On the way from our place to Nanna’s, Dad would call in at the ice works to buy some bags of ice. These would be used to fill the laundry tub into which the beer bottles (and some bottles of lemonade too) would be placed to chill.



Nanna and my mother and aunties would spend the morning in the kitchen preparing baked ham, roast chickens (and once even a goose!), roast potatoes and other assorted vegetables and the most delicious gravy ever.  Nanna would have already made the mince pies, Christmas cake and the plum pudding complete with sixpences hidden in its yummy centre.  The men would arrange themselves on the verandah in squatter’s chairs with glasses of beer close to hand. My cousins and I would be left to climb the mango trees in the backyard in search of the treasured fruit or to add tinsel and handmade decorations to our treehouse.  The oldest of the boys would be set to work mowing a strip of grass in preparation for the post-lunch cricket match.


At one o’clock, Nanna would tell my Uncle Herbie that dinner was ready. He would announce the good news to the rest of us by way of a piercing whistle.  Never have so many children moved so quickly!  The race to get a drumstick was a very serious event.  We were greeted by a table (two tables end to end actually) groaning with bounty….yummo….it was a sight to behold.  Nanna would stand at the head of the table, her face flushed from the heat of the day and the effort of cooking for the multitude, and say “We give thanks for all that we are able to enjoy this day. May God bless us this Christmas and in the new year with health and happiness, friends and family and love and laughter.  All these in abundance.”  To which we would chorus a hearty “AMEN”.


There wasn’t room for us kids at the table so we sat on the floor or on the stairs with our plates of goodies.  My brother would have Vegemite sandwiches. He was not an adventurous eater. Nanna tried every year to tempt him with some delicacy from the feast but he would never relent. “Vegemite sandwich please, Nan.”

When we had cleaned our plates we were allowed to distribute the gifts from under the Christmas tree.  I usually received some clothes, a book or a jigsaw puzzle and one of the items from the long list I had sent off to Santa.  There was usually a stocking with boiled lollies, noise makers and paper hats etc. as well.


While we played with our new toys, the men of the family would clear the table and begin the washing up, while the ladies sorted the leftovers into bundles to be taken home.  Nanna would be told to put her feet up and relax.

Then the cricket match would begin. The usual backyard rules – over the fence is six and out etc.- applied and there were certain allowances made for the little kids.  One by one, the men would claim injury and retire to the verandah for a medicinal beer or spirit, and soon it was just us kids playing.  We played until the light did not allow us to see the ball. We kept ourselves hydrated by sucking on lumps of ice pinched from the laundry tub.

Finally we would all sit on the verandah and enjoy the mince pies and plum pudding served with custard.  My Uncle Harry always seemed to find the sixpence in his pudding. We were sure he slipped one out of his pocket and onto his plate.

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We would go home tired, laughing about the day’s events and our tummies full. We would sit in the back seat of the car surrounded by bags and baskets loaded with gifts and leftovers.

Every year as I decorate my home for the season, these memories flood back and I hope that my family go home on Christmas day filled with similar feelings. I hope that when they look back on our family Christmas celebrations they too will remember them fondly.


We give thanks for all that we are able to enjoy this day. May God bless us this Christmas and in the new year with health and happiness, friends and family and love and laughter.  All these in abundance.

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