How hard can it be to be tidy and on time? A lazy girl's quest to organise her life…

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Okay…so blogging about cleaning my toilet on a Saturday morning isn’t very Rock and Roll.

But as I am a lazy girl on a quest for the quickest and easiest ways to get my house clean and tidy, I had to share this tip with any other like-minded slatterns out there. Then we can all go and do something suitably Rock and Roll this afternoon. Agreed?

We had a new en suite fitted last year which I love. However, we have such hard water it is becoming a real headache trying to keep all my chrome bits and pieces sparkly and new-looking. The toilet has been even worse to tackle. There has been a horrible limescale line that has formed just above the water mark which nothing has shifted. I have seriously tried every type of toilet cleaner and bleach on the market over the last few months with no avail.

I’d heard about how great vinegar is as an all purpose, non-toxic and low cost cleaner before but have always preferred the thought of a nice lemony disinfectant spray rather than my house smelling like a bag of chips. But this week I thought I would give the vinegar a shot.

I popped one cup of white wine vinegar in the toilet bowl followed by the whole 180g tub of bicarbonate of soda. (As you can see from the picture, I grabbed what I had in the cupboard which was from Waitrose – you can definitely get them cheaper, which I will now I’m going to start regularly pouring them down the toilet! But even with the “vair naice” Waitrose labels this still only cost me £1.45)

My new best friends!

Don’t go too crazy on quantities as the mix of the two products creates quite a chemical reaction, and you don’t want a foam volcano to add to your list of cleaning jobs.

It’s best to leave it in the toilet overnight but I was too impatient to see that it hadn’t worked and prove that nothing was ever going to shift the marks, so I left it in the toilet for only about 30 minutes. With one wipe, the mark just disappeared. It had done the trick!

Now I’m not saying I have been fully converted to exclusively cleaning au naturel, it is more important to me to find products that make my life easier and cut cleaning time down. And I probably will still use normal toilet cleaners occasionally because I like the way they make the bathrooms smell. But it is difficult to argue with such a cheap solution that has the added benefits that it isn’t harmful to children, pets, the environment and not packed with chemicals.

I’ve started to research where else vinegar and bicarbonate of soda knocks socks off the chemical alternatives. I’ll let you know (once I’ve sobered up from my Rock and Roll afternoon of course!).


In my last post I promised to showcase a few of the best notice boards on sale at the moment. Here are a selection of the prettiest and most useful ones I’ve found online recently suiting all budgets.


Floral Memo Board. £28.00.

Large Steel Magnetic Board. £89.00.

Butterfly Memo Board. £10.00.

Magnetic Fridge Chalkboard. £8.95.

Framed Vintage Rose Magnetic Notice Board. £47.99.

Magnetic Notice Board. £85.00.

Let me know what you think!

….are you sensing a theme here?! I’ve had such good feedback on my last two posts about a couple of quick DIY projects we’ve done to install notice boards in our kitchen, that I thought you might enjoy seeing how other bloggers have done-it-themselves. (Any excuse to trawl Pinterest, hey?!)

All look great and most look quite easy to make…

DIY burlap notice board with metal pin border from

Chicken wire and a painted frame from

Framed baking tray covered in fabric from brownpaper–

Painted baking tray notice board from

Wine corks stuck on to a frame from

Ikea cork trivets as notice board from

Burlap behind the glass creates a rewritable board from

Plenty of inspiration which could suit all sorts of home decor styles. There are more ideas on my Pinterest boards – just click on the link to the right of the page to follow me. Tomorrow I’ll post some of my favourite notice boards that are available to buy, then I promise I won’t mention notice boards for another few weeks!

I mentioned in last week’s post that I intended on making a notice board to fit inside one of our kitchen doors. I’ve been in need of a hidden notice board to hold all the usual household admin that tends to collect in piles all over my kitchen surfaces. I’m on a mission to cut out as much clutter as possible to give me less things to tidy and make it quicker to clean – this notice board is the answer to all my prayers and is going to change my life*.

*slight exaggeration!

I’ll level with you right at the start that I’m stretching the truth when calling this a “quick” project. It took me about three hours (not including paint drying time) and there are definitely ways you could speed the process up and get a similar outcome, but I’m happy with the way it’s turned out.



I picked a door in our kitchen that hides our washing machine and washing powder etc. It’s actually an old stable door that we salvaged and re-used when we had a new kitchen fitted last year. I chose that door as we don’t really have any other suitable cupboards in the kitchen, and it’s provided quite a large space for the board.

I wanted a cork board because we’ll want to pin things on that are quite heavy (calendar etc.) that wouldn’t be held by magnets. I knew it needed to be “made to measure” rather than a bought one to maximise the space, and I didn’t want to go au naturel with the cork so chose to paint it.

So here’s how I did it:

I bought some cork floor tiles from Wickes (the only DIY store I could find that still sell them, clearly a throw-back product from the 1970s!). You can buy online from eBay too. I needed two packs (£8.99 each) as you need to double the cork tiles up so that the pins don’t go all the way through. And I used a tube of Instant Grab Adhesive (£1.88). So this little project cost me a grand total of £19.86.


I cut the tiles to fit with a Stanley Knife (be sure to use a sharp blade and cut all the way through for a clean edge). Making sure I applied the adhesive right to the edges, it was just a case of sticking them on to the door.





I painted the second layer of cork tiles with a spare tester pot of paint I found in our garage, and then stuck those on top. A voilà!


I’m not actually sure I’ll keep that colour paint. I may paint over it with a more vibrant colour; it could probably do with a second coat of paint now it is in situ anyway.

Again another super simple and cheap DIY project which anyone could do, and one more step on the path away from chaos!

Well, well, well…I have been tagged in my very first “meme” (sorry, I’m so new to this blogging business that I still mime speech marks when I use the jargon!). Thank you very much Louise at A Strong Coffee – be sure to check out her great blog if you haven’t already. It’s ironic that my first is a Yummy Mummy Meme, because at 31 weeks pregnant I’m slipping further and further away from yumminess but nearer and nearer to even more mumminess!

So, here are the rules:

1. When answering the question give as much detail as possible.  It’s all about the finer details people!
2. Leave a comment here (Busybeemummybex blog where the meme was created).
3. Tag three or more people and link them to your blog.
4. Tweet #yummymummy when you share on Twitter.

And now to the juicy details:

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Pick up my iPhone. I don’t have a watch or alarm clock, so rely on the phone to confirm what ungodly hour the three year old pest is waking me up that morning. He has always been a painfully early riser; always cheerful and lovely, but early none the less.

Do you shower daily?
Yes. I need a shower to wake me up, but I try to only wash my hair every other day by order of my hairdresser.

Are you an early morning shower or an evening bath type?
Definitely an early morning shower type. I like the idea of a leisurely evening bath but as soon as I sink in to the bubbles, I’m instantly bored. I also think people who have showers in the evening are just plain wierd.

Do you wear make up daily?
Yes – always. As a minimum I wear foundation, bronzer, mascara and lip gloss. I don’t like to look “made up” during the day. It’s just not a look I can carry off. However, I have been mistaken for my Mum three times this year at quite close range, so may need to re-evaluate how much make up I need. (By the way, my Mum is definitely a Yummy Mummy. She is glam with a capital G. So I should be flattered. But she is 30 years older than me, so I am not.)

What’s in your make-up bag?
All manner of brands. Some top end, some bargain end. I don’t live near any department stores and my pest is not keen on shopping, so if I run out of something and haven’t got a child-free jaunt planned I’ve got to take it where I can find it.

When you’re having a slummy mummy day, what do you normally wear?
I always get dressed, even if it’s just jeans and a t-shirt. I only wear tracksuits when I exercise. But as soon as the pest goes to bed my PJs go on, which can be embarrassing if the neighbour pops by at 6.45pm!

Nails – how often do you get them done?
Not as often as I’d like. Think I’ve had them done 2-3 times this year so far. I never file my own nails. It’s just something I always forget to do.

Your top tips for tired eyes?
More sleep, more water, any brand of refreshing eye gel and failing that Lancome’s Touche Eclat.

Are you a Starbucks or Costa Coffee kind of girl?
Neither. I’m not really a coffee girl and hate the smell of lattes. Would much rather go to a nice tea shop.

How many children do you have/want?
We have one beautiful boy, one on the way and we’re both hoping that our family will feel complete after that.

What is your favourite place to shop for babies/children’s clothes?
I’m a bit tight when it comes to clothes for the pest. He’s often lively, sometimes rambunctious and occasionally wild. As such he is hard on his clothes. I much prefer to relax knowing that if he ruins his t-shirt making mudpies or gets a hole in his jeans when he dives off a wall I’ve not wasted too much money, once I’ve checked him over for injuries of course! Most of his everyday clothes are from H&M, Asda or eBay. For nicer clothes I like Zara.

Flats or Heels? Everyday shoes are?
It used to be heels, but definitely flats. I only wear heels now when I know I’m going to be with someone else who’ll be able to catch the pest (he’s super-quick!).

I’m now going to tag…..Avril, Catherine  and H Mean

Inspired by a number of great ideas on Pinterest and frustrated by the piles of paperwork collecting on my kitchen surfaces, I have decided to try a couple of very quick and easy DIY projects this week to create some useful notice boards.

This first one is specifically for the fancy invites and pretty notes that collect around the place, the ones that I’m happy to show off. I often lose wedding invites and have to ring up my friends to get hold of the details. Well, not any more! My second notice board (which I’ll post about next week) is going to be bigger, behind one of our cupboard doors and will be for the more functional scraps of paper that I’d rather hide away.


The notice board has been created using an old silver tray that I bought on eBay (I won it for £8.00!). I wanted one with a bit of embellishment, and am really chuffed with it.


We drilled holes in the middle (keep the holes nearer the centre, they’ll be easier to cover up with your invites etc) and screwed it on to the wall.


I have used some beautiful magnets which I bought via Etsy from a UK-based seller called Kitzie G. The magnets cost just over £8.00 plus postage for seven, they came beautifully packaged and go so well with our kitchen’s colour scheme. I knew I didn’t want ceramic magnets because I was worried they’d break if they fell on to the work-surface. The ones from Kitzie G are like little badges so will withstand my clumsiness.


I’m a very average type of gal. Not very creative. Not very practical. Not great at taking pictures. But I like to give things a shot and I want to add a few more personal touches around my house, so I picked this project because I reckoned even I couldn’t mess it up. Hopefully you’ll agree that I haven’t!

The photos I have taken probably don’t do it justice. The one I found on Pinterest that gave me the idea in the first place is a much nicer photo, and you’ll have to take my word for it that mine looks just as good (or pop round for a cuppa to have a look, just give me advanced warning so I can do some crisis cleaning!). As you can see from the picture, two trays look fab together – perhaps we may do that in the future, but I’m not sure we get enough fancy invites!

Idea for silver tray noticeboard via Pinterest

(The pin on Pinterest says that the original link came from, but when I click on it I can’t find the post.)

I’d love to hear what you think it.  Check back later in the week for more notice board ideas or next week for our second quick kitchen notice board project. I’ve also got a board on Pinterest with more DIY notice board ideas.



In last week’s post I listed a selection of Father’s Day presents that would have the added benefit of helping declutter the house rather than just another thing to get dusty. I promised I would report back on what the pest (our 3 year old) would be giving to his Daddy. We went for a personalised oak desk tidy from, and his Daddy loves it. It will look great in our bedroom and will finally solve the problem of deposited piles of coins all over the room when he empties his pockets each night. (The card is also from