Journals and planners

Journals and planners

Dear Louise

It’s so funny that even though we have talked about so many things, we’ve never talked about our planners. What’s funnier is that we both love Kikki.K and didn’t know that too. Goes to show how you can know a person for a long time but still get to learn something new about them.

Now that I have seen your planner and love it, I thought I’ll go ahead and show you my journal and planner that I got this year as you are enjoying your summer holidays in Gisborne with family, and won’t be back for another couple of weeks.

Every year, a couple of months before the end of the year, my big search for the New Year’s journal starts.

I have always been a journal writer. Not a regular day to day journaling type but simply one to put in writing, of what I’m thinking, feeling , things that interest me, concerns me and special things that need to be safely tucked away in memory.

I also used it as my planner.

In 2015, my husband got me my first Kikki. K planner.

All my old Kikki .K planners in the back and the new Kikki.K in the front

From then on I’ve had a separate journal and a planner.

This year my journal is from K mart and I love it. Hard bound , without dates , I write when I want to without worrying about empty pages on days I don’t write.

The two things that drew me to this journal, were the colour and the quote on top of it.

The Kikki .K planner I got also has a quote. ‘Today is the day’. Appropriate for the eternal procrastinator in me.img_5567.jpg

With the lilac, pink ,grey and white colour scheme , stripes and polka dots, what’s not to love?

After using  different Kikki.K planners before, I have finally figured out that I prefer the medium leather bound planner, with a stud button closure, elastic pen holder, 6-ring binder with refillable sections

(I’ve added my pouch to hold pens and extra pages  and stickers from my previous planner into it.)img_5691.jpg


Two card holders 1 open pocket and two note pad slotsimg_5569.jpg

‘Enjoy Today’  quote on the notepad reminds me , to take small steps and not be overly worried about the mile long things to do on my list.

7 tab dividers with 3 customisable blank tabs. Plus 2 pre-labelled and customisable sticker sheets

stickers with cute reminders, my love for stickers and tapes haven’t left me at all!

Other features I love are the flexibility of perpetual calendar with the Monthly vertical  view birthday page,  IMG_5694monthly columns in the front of the pageimg_5696.jpg and weekly horizontal view page with enough space to write down the agenda/thoughts etc for the day. img_5695.jpg

Bullet point todo lis pages with space for top priorities.

The option of customising the planner to suit my lifestyle plus their motto

“inspire and empower people to live their best life everyday. “ has my vote every time.

They do have an option to monogram the planner . I didn’t use it this time. I do miss the personal information page and the extra motivational/inspiration sheets they usually have in this journal. I can’t complain though, as you see, this year I was really lucky to get a great deal in store and paid only $27 for my planner. (With such a wonderful score, I may give into impulse and get a couple of their inspirational sticker sheets. They have some great sale going on in store right now.)

I am aware that I  may not get lucky like this every time and since I’ve now found the size and type I find most practical for me, I’ve already created a little saving account for my planner Next Year! If that is not pre – planning, I don’t know what is . 😀

Happy New Year to you all

X Pearlin.

p.s.: this is not a sponsored post.

Goodbye 2017, Hello new Diary!

Dear Pearlin,

I love the fresh beginning of a new year, making plans for the year to come and reminiscing over the year that has passed.

One of the joys in the new year for me is a new diary. I don’t keep a diary as a journal but as a place to try and keep order in my chaotic life! It’s not easy keeping on top of things when you have a large family so a diary is a must for me.

My gorgeous new Inspiration Diary from Kikki-K, “Every Day is a New Beginning.”

I’m definitely more a Paper than a digital list-maker too. There is something so satisfying in putting pen to paper, creating a list and then crossing items off the list.

By the end of each week my diary is a filled-in scribbled on mess. Everything is jotted down from appointment times, menu plans, phone messages and to-do lists. Each Monday I love turning over to a fresh page for the week.

Two years ago I received a Kikki K diary from my family for Christmas and loved it so much I decided I would purchase from Kikki K the next year. Prior to this I would grab any old cheap diary on sale as long as it had a week over two pages.

Last year I saw a diary I loved and wanted, at Kikki K but I wasn’t willing to pay full price so waited hoping it would go on sale but it sold out before then. I ended up purchasing the cheapest diary on offer and regretted it all year. It wasn’t the style or ‘look’ I was after and I took great pleasure throwing it in the recycling bin before we went away on holiday for Christmas.

This year I saw the diary I wanted in October and my Mum offered to buy it for me for my birthday (23 December). I was thrilled and delighted to open it up once we arrived in Gisborne on my birthday and decided I’ll never again wait for a sale if I see the diary I’d like. It is a book I look at and write in daily, I carry it with me in my bag and plan each week in it. If I take pleasure simply from using it I’d say it’s well worth paying full price (or requesting it as a gift – thank you Mum) and if it’s on sale – even better! Now I just need to get the matching pen!

Yearly reflection including top 10 highlights of last year, 5 things I achieved, 5 good things I did for others, 5 things I’m grateful for and 5 things I learnt last year.

Yearly goals and planning.

Weekly planning pages including priority list, weekly goals, to do list, daily gratitude, dinner plan and habits. I love these weekly lists and especially the reminder to be grateful for something every day.

Monthly reflection page. I appreciate the inspirational quotes on each page. “There is always something to be thankful for.”

This is not a sponsored post, I just love my new diary and want to share the love! I filled in the reflection and yearly goals pages last night and I’m ready for the New Year (and I love that it starts on a Monday)!

Happy New Year and happy planning for 2018!

Louise xxx

An honest review of Norwex

Norwex is a company that sells microfibre cleaning cloths and body cloths, which are designed to be used with only water.  I love the idea of cleaning without using harsh chemicals.

A year ago I was invited to a Norwex party.  I had been to a couple of Enjo parties before and have one Enjo cloth plus several supermarket brand microfibre cleaning cloths so had an idea of what the products might be like. Norwex is sold via party-plan (not in shops) and the reason for this is so you can see a demonstration of how the products are designed to be used.

I found the cloths were more reasonably priced than the Enjo ones (although still pricey) and I preferred the flat cloth style to the hand pocket style of Enjo so decided to purchase a kitchen cloth, a pack of stainless steel straws and a pack of 3 makeup remover cloths.

I found the kitchen cloth was great for general kitchen messes, wiping the bench and doing the dishes.  Several months later I purchased a second kitchen cloth at another party.  As much as I love how well these cloths work at wiping up greasy messes, they do begin to smell a little faster than my cheap cotton cloths, in spite of the claim they inhibit bacteria growth.  Those two cloths, which are now a year old, look very worn, have developed some holes and are stiff (I have a front loader and wash on hot washes with minimal detergent). I spoke with Jody about this and she recommended I pour boiling water over the cloth to help it’s fibres to relax and release the odour. It worked!! She s also suggested I try washing with the Norwex laundry detergent but I haven’t bought that to try yet.

Newer cloth on the left and older cloths on the right, showing more signs of wear than the newer.

The makeup remover cloths don’t feel like your typical fluffy microfibre, rather they are a soft suede.  They work very well to remove makeup including eye makeup although my girls found they drag at the skin a little.  I also found the cloths stain a bit with the makeup (I soaked one with napisan which removed all stains but I don’t think this is recommended).

Several months later when my friend Jody decided to start selling Norwex I had my own Norwex party and decided to purchase a full package of Norwex product.  I figured I liked what I had tried so far and the 30% discount when purchasing the pack as well as some great freebies on offer at the time helped me decide to go ahead with the large purchase!

What I LOVE about Norwex:

The label on each cloth tells you what it’s for and doubles as a loop to hang on a hook
(I keep most of mine in the laundry on a line of hooks, including all my mop pads)

You can purchase little mini cloths (Enviro and window plus baby size face cloths) which are ideal if you want to try a cloth without spending a lot on the full size versions, or if you just have small hands!

The telescopic mop handle is easily adjustable so I can set my 7 year old to mopping the floors (she loves it haha, long may it continue!!) and I love that I can just wet the mop pad under the tap with cold water and it still cleans the floor really well.  I especially love the tile mop pad which has some extra scrubby bits.  It’s so much easier than the old mop and bucket I used to use (hardly ever actually because it was such a hassle)!

The rubber brush is a must if you buy the dry mop pad and I’ve used it with the dusting mitt as well.  It brushes off all dust and debris into the bin so you don’t need to wash the dry mop pad (aka broom) or dusting mitt each time you use them.

Products I recommend:

Enviro cloth – this is a fabulous all purpose cloth and I use it for everything from cleaning my bathroom, to windows, mirrors, the kitchen and even stains on the carpet.

Window cloth – the window cloth is used dry after wiping the mirror or window with the wet everyday cloth.  It leaves a completely streak-free finish and also leaves taps shining!

If you’re looking at making your first purchase, I would highly recommend that purchase include an Enviro cloth and a Window cloth.  This is the basic combination and will get a lot of use all over the house.

Cleaning Paste – I use this in my bathroom mostly, either with an Enviro cloth or Scrub cloth.  I use it anywhere I would have previously used a cream cleanser scrub type product.

Blue Diamond – this is a highly concentrated bathroom cleaner.  I squirt it straight into the toilet to clean the bowl and to clean other surfaces I dilute it in a spray bottle with water and use it like spray and wipe. I have been very impressed with it.

Body cloths – these are Norwex facecloths. I bought a pack of 3 baby cloths for each of my big girls and they love them. They find them gentler than the makeup remover cloths and great for cleansing their faces.

Jody sent me a body cloth to try as a face cloth and I’ve been loving mine too. I have really dry skin combined with awful acne (at 37 I am so over pimples after 20+ years!) and I’ve been enjoying the results with the body cloth so far. My skin is not as dry, I’m not having to use cleanser or to exfoliate as this cloth does both. I haven’t been using it long enough to say if the pimples have improved. I think they might have (my pores are definitely smaller) but will update once I’ve been using it several months.

I absolutely LOVE the stainless steel straws.  My kids love to use straws in smoothies and drinks and I had been buying plastic straws for them.  I am so glad I’ve done away with the plastic straws.  We all enjoy drinking out of the stainless steel straws and the straw cleaner works well.

Dusting mitt – handy little mitt for dusting.

Car cleaning mitt and cloth -these are like a heavy duty version of the enviro and window cloths – a thick spongy mitt to clean your car with only water and a cloth to polish it dry. They’re easy to use and we’ve been really pleased with the results.

Timeless Rescue Gel and Hand Cleanser – these are the only products in the body care range I’ve tried and I really like them both.  The Rescue Gel smells amazing and feels lovely on the temples when you’re struggling with a headache or stress.

What I don’t like:

Norwex is expensive.

The dishwashing liquid didn’t cut through grease although was slightly better if I used heaps, so it got used it up pretty quickly.  It’s supposed to be ultra-concentrated but I couldn’t cope with the greasy finish on my dishes.  I’ll stick with my favourite Morning Fresh detergent.

The kitchen cloths can start to smell after several days and after a year mine are looking really worn, have some holes and are stiff and thin. (I spoke with Jody about the smell and she recommended pouring boiling water over the cloth to help it release the odour and it worked)!

My hands feel very dry after using the Enviro cloth to clean the bathrooms and house.

I don’t like the feeling of dry microfibre on my dry hands, it catches and feels awful.  I don’t really like the static feeling of the body towels and the fact that they are so thin in comparison to cotton towels.  I do find the kitchen hand towels are nice on my hands though.

Norwex cloths will melt if you use them to clean a hot sandwich press or if you wipe over a still-hot glass top element (don’t ask me how I know this).  I’m afraid to hang the tea towels over my oven door for this reason.

In summary:

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly, chemical free cleaning solution for your home, I would recommend you try Norwex. There are so many great products I love and many more I still want to try.

Check out Jody’s website for more info on Norwex (you can order through Jody and have your order posted straight to you).

This post has not been sponsored, it is purely a review of my experiences with Norwex products.

How to make Fresh Coconut Milk at Home

Coconuts are abundant in my hometown , so it is widely used in our cuisine. Making coconut milk at home for using in Stew and some of the traditional dessert is very common, instead of using tinned coconut milk or powder.

Coconut milk is made in three stages. This first one being the thickest, the second one a little thinner and the third one is very light. The third milk  is usually used for cooking the vegetables or meat for the gravy . Personally I prefer to cook them in the third milk as it enhances the taste of the gravy.

(This is a recipe that can be tailored as per need)
To make one cup of thick coconut milk.
2 cups of grated fresh coconut
3/4 th + 1 tbsp cup of warm water
First, pulse the freshly grated coconut for a second.Then add the warm water and blend till the coconut is all ground and appears milky.
Squeeze out the milk by wringing or pressing the blended coconut really well with your hands through a sieve or cheese cloth.
The FIRST blend of fresh coconut milk  that is the thickest is the first milk.
Add water again to the the left over  squeezed out coconut pulp and  blend again , the consistency of the coconut milk gets thinner and this is the second milk.
Repeat the process and the third and Last blend is the thinnest coconut milk.
Cook Book Scribbles:
  • The most important thing to keep in mind when using the thick first coconut milk is to never let it boil (in the curry or stew etc)  as it will curdle  and spoil the taste.
  • If fresh coconut is not available, frozen fresh coconut can also be used . It is available at Yogiji Christchurch.
  • Dry desiccated coconut however, has not worked for me and Louise.


How to make Soy Candles

How to make Soy Candles

img_3939Making soy candles is simple and does not take long.  Once finished you have gorgeous, professional looking candles to use and give away as gifts.


If you are a beginner I would recommend purchasing a soy candle making kit to get you started.  I purchased a candle making kit which came with soy wax, wicks, fragrance oils and glass candle jars.

Other equipment you will need:
A clean pot to melt the wax
A jug for pouring
A hot glue gun to glue the wick tabs in to the jars (or you can buy stickers for this purpose or use a drop of wax)
Wick holders (I used a knife to keep the wick centred)
A thermometer
Scales to weigh the wax and fragrance oil

To begin measure your wax into the pot and set to a low heat to melt the wax.Stir wax as it melts to break up clumps.

Using a hot glue gun, apply a drop of glue on wick tab (or use a small piece of double sided tape or wick stickers).Position wick in the centre of the jar and press onto glass.  Be careful not to have any glue (or tape) showing as it may be a fire risk.  If you have tall glass jars you may need to use a knife or screwdriver to press down on the wick tab to stick it down.Pour melted wax into a jug to cool.

Once the wax is 40 degrees or less, the fragrance oil can be added.  I used a ratio of 10-15% fragrance oil, to wax.  Mix well.

Place your jars into a position where you can leave them to set.  Pour melted wax carefully into jars until half full.  Adjust wicks to stand in the centre (I used knives to help position the wicks) then pour in the rest of the wax.

Leave wax to cool.  Ideally candles should not be moved until the wax is completely set (about 3-6 hours).

Excess soy wax can be poured into silicone mounds and made into soy wax melts.

Once your candles have set (after about 6 hours) it is time to trim the wicks with sharp scissors to 1 – 1.5cm above the level of soy wax.  Leave candles to settle for a day before using (or packaging up to give away).

Label your candles.  I used cute gift tags with gold thread.  I popped the soy melts into a cellophane bag.  When you burn your candle for the first time, allow the entire surface of the candle to melt right out to the edges of the glass.  This will ensure you get an even melt pool.