Wednesday, July 20, 2011

20 ways to treat yourself for under $1

So often as women we spend our time being busy helping and thinking of others instead of ourselves. We often forget that sometimes we need a little pampering and spoiling as well to get us through the day. To help you out and to inspire you to be a little kinder to yourselves I have the lovely Kylie Ofiu guest posting on 20 ways to treat yourself for under $1. I don't know about you but I am seriously excited to see what she has come up with for us. For under $1 I think I need to try them all!

Take it away Kylie.

Often when we think of treating ourselves we think it will be expensive so we just put it out of our minds. Of course there are many ways to treat ourselves that would cost a fortune such as a day at a spa, but there are also many ways you can treat yourself for under $1!

1. Scented candles or melts
These can be bought cheaply either in packs for less than $1 each, online or from garage sales since everyone gets given packs and not everyone uses them.

2. Eat with the fine china
What are you saving it for? Use it, even if it is just a slice of cake or an apple cut up for yourself, use the good china. It will make you feel special. Or make a nice meal, set the table with the good china, glasses and treat the whole family.

3. Drink from crystal glass
Lots of us get them when we get engaged or married or we might inherit some, but not many of us use them. I once lived with a lay who only drank from crystal glasses. She said she had been given so many over the years and after her divorce, thought to herself, “Every day is special. It is special because I am alive, I have my family and I am special!” So she decided to use all her ‘good’ glasses and she says she feels special using them.

4. Sugar oil body scrub
This is really easy to make and feels so nice. All you need is sugar and oil from your kitchen plus some essential oil to scent it. Mix it together in equal parts (more sugar if you like a rougher scrub) then use it next time you have a bath or shower. Many expensive days spas use this but will charge you a lot for it.

5. Give yourself a pedicure/manicure
There are many tutorials online about how to do it and your hands or feet will feel so good once you’ve done it.

6. At home facial
You can use ingredients from your kitchen to make an assortment of masks. To give yourself a facial cleanse your face, use a face scrub followed by a mask then finish off with toner and moisturiser. Take your time, put on some soothing music and enjoy it.

7. Shower or long hot bath by candle light
Light your favourite scented candle and wash or soak away your worries. The soft flicker of candle light is much more relaxing than your lights.

8. Use lovely soap or shower gel
Even expensive ones work out less than 50 cents per use and you will smell and feel great.

9. Take the time to watch the sunset
We are all so busy rushing around all the time that we don’t often stop to appreciate beauty. Once night, just stop and relax for a while to watch the sunset. It is very relaxing.

10. Magazine or book from an op shop
They are often only 50cents and you can find some really interesting ones that you would not normally buy.

11. Use those samples
We often get given samples that just sit in the bathroom cupboard never to see the light of day. Pull them out and use them. You will probably find some pretty perfumes or nice scented lotions to use.

12. Borrow a DVD from the library or a friend
This is free and a great way to watch a movie you might not have thought of until it was in front of you.

13. Small chocolate
A small chocolate or 1 piece of good quality chocolate is a treat. A whole block will make you sick. Savour the little pieces and enjoy the taste rather than eating it as quickly as possible because you desperately need a chocolate fix.

14. Pamper party
This does not have to be done in conjunction with any party plan company. You could get your friends, family or even just you and your daughter(s) together. Everyone bring their products then take it in turns giving each other manicures or facials.

15. Marshmallows in your hot chocolate
It is so simple, yet hardly anyone does it. A few marshmallows are not expensive and they are so nice and gooey in hot chocolate.

16. Visit a museum, art gallery or botanical garden
You can do it on your own or with friends. There is something in pretty much every area where you can go and appreciate art, history or nature.

17. Have a gratitude journal
Get a nice note book and pen you use just for writing what you are grateful for. It will help you appreciate what you have and a pretty set will feel nicer to use.

18. Go for a walk
Going out for a walk in the fresh air can feel so good. You don’t need to rush around, just stroll along and appreciate the beauty.

19. Watch the clouds or star gaze
Lay on your back and watch the clouds or stars. Make pictures out of the clouds or look for constellations in the stars

20. Do a happiness list/project
Just like Naomi is doing on here. Doing things that make you happy don’t always come first in our list of priorities as mums, but it sure will help everything and feel like a little treat every day.

Kylie is guest posting the whole month of July and you can check out her blog HERE.

What do you do to treat yourself?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

blogging and keeping it real

A keeping it real post.

Warning! I am not going to worry about punctuation or correcting...I am just going to write.
I need to just write.

I am having one of those days. Where it all seems too much.

This blogging business that is.

When I started this blog I never, ever thought I would make it this far.
That is why I have all of my kids names and everything on this blog.

I could not imagine any one except my family being interested in what I have to say.
I did not even think they would really be interested.

I never ever thought I would make it past 100 followers on my blog.
When I made it to 50 I was shocked!

So then I set a goal of trying for 100.
That was a big goal for me.

100 was my dream number and if I reached that stage I knew I was going to feel like I was a super star in blog terms.

So here I am at super star status (in my eyes).
With over 100 followers on my blog.
I am overwhelmed by your support and encouragement and love.

Your comments have boosted me so many times during my day over the past year and a half and you have helped me to become a better wife, mother and writer.

I have certainly gained so much more than I feel like I have ever been able to giveaway in relation to happiness on this blog. I truly feel so much happier in my life since starting this blog and I appreciate the additional insight you have provided on each post that I have written.

You truly are an inspiring bunch of women and are so insightful with how you live your lives and go about your motherhood role.

My career as a mother is such an important role to me.
Being a blogger comes second to that.

At times in this journey I have lost my way.
I have put blogging first and my family second.

Every time I found myself doing this it was when I was trying to keep up with someone else.
When I was comparing myself.

I simply cannot compete with what other bloggers are doing.

I am not like them, I am unique in my own way and as much as I have tried my best to be a good blogger and to keep up with all of the social media events and opportunities that come my way...

I realise that I cannot do it.
I simply cannot give my cherubs and my husband the love and care they deserve.

They are what I treasure the most.

The kind words and comments from them make my heart sing so much more than a lovely comment on my blog brings.

No offense ladies!

So now comes the big question of me. Now what???

How am I going to work this...where do I go from here???

How do I take what I have learned and put it all into practice???

I am currently working out this plan. I am taking stock and I am pondering.
One thing is stopping my progress.

You see, I am having trouble. I am feeling bad.

I am finding it hard to visit blogs, to read other posts by bloggers that I love and to support you back the way that you support me.

I can spend my time replying to all of your comments, by visiting you back on your blogs and by reading all you have to say but it means I do not have time left for my family.

It then becomes a full-time work for me and I just don't have the time and cannot do it.

At times I have made it a priority to try to do all those things and my family really suffered.
I suffered and I felt my life out of balance.

I can't help but feel like I have let you all down as I am not supporting you the way you support me.

As much as I often receive a little payment for sponsored posts and giveaways that I do, it is not enough to compensate time away from my family and enough for me to call this blog work.

I feel bad because I want to show back the kindness and care and support you give to me and I just am not able to do it. Believe me, I have tried and it has led me to feeling depressed and exhausted.

It is like I develop a social media headache.
My head longs to be elsewhere, with my cherubs and with my husband.

So where am I going with all this ramble.
I think I am going here:

I realise that I can really only find time to write
I realise that I can only reply to some of you
I realise that I can only do so much
I realise that I really have already reached my goal
I realise I am a super star blogger and am content with that
I realise I need to stop feeling guilty
I realise I need to work out a plan and stick to it
I realise I need to not get distracted and to compare.

I know some of you may be thinking this is a weird post from me.
I know some of you may be thinking...well just post less often and use that time to visit other blogs....

I have tried that and I just about went insane not being able to write
I need to write and to share.

It already takes all my strength some days to not post 3 times a day.
My brain is always thinking of ideas and my hands just want to write.

I know some of you may be thinking..stop doing sponsored posts...
I have tried that too and my brain just loves the challenge of dealing with business'

You see I so love everything that I am doing so much...I adore it all.
I just need to get better at balancing it all.

I want to continue my blog and I want you to know I am trying my best.
I really love to help women, to inspire them and I want to help women be happier.

I realise by writing and posting this post I am not coming across as inspiring and some of you may even feel that I am coming across as weak and unhappy.

At times I really am, I seriously feel that way in relation to my blog.
I feel like what I have to say is not good enough, not inspiring enough and often wonder what my writing would be like if I was not so tired and worn out each day.

Right now, this is all I have to give. It is as good as it is going to get.
It has to be enough for me and I hope it is enough for you.

I am a big believer in keeping it real.
Of writing from the heart and I hope you can see a little into how my heart if feeling right now.

Torn between family and blogging.
A little upset about how things are and how I have let them be.
I need some time to work out a better balance.

I am sure as I work this out I will make some more mistakes along the way.
I hope you will continue to support me as I do.

If you have actually made it to the end of this post, I am impressed and if I was in the room with you I would give you a hug to say thanks.

I also found this great post on Social Media and Self Esteem here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What do mothers want?

I have been doing some thinking about what I want as a mother. 
What really do I expect from myself and my family, and what do I really need?

This of course led me to thinking about my children, which led me to watching my children, which ultimately led me to thinking that for children growing up, I believe it is hard to work out what us mothers want or need.

Children are not adults, they do not think like adults and do not act like adults.

To children it may not seem clear what our expectations as mothers are or if we have decided to change what we want or need them to do.

Now you may be thinking that you make it really clear what you want or expect to have happen around you home, but how many of you have explained a simple activity or instruction only to have one of your children turn around (or even your husband - hee! hee!) and ask a question about your instructions that blows you away and leaves you thinking - What the?

I remember getting upset at Harmony one time after asking her to put her clothes for the next day on the ironing board. After about the 10th time of telling her, and feeling like I was about to explode, she finally turned to me and asked, "Mum, what is an ironing board?".

Over the years my needs and wants and expectations in relation to being a mother have changed many times. I have not always passed this information on to my husband and children and it has led to me unnecessarily getting upset because they did not understand where I was coming from.

I went through stages where I almost demanded respect and attention to where I now have simplified what I really want from my family and from myself and have worked on communicating them in a clear concise manner.

Here are some of my personal wants/needs:

1. A surprise hug and kiss {every so often}
2. Children who are kind to each other {big ask I know!}
3. A house of order {not perfect but organised}
4. Manners {especially at the dinner table}
5. A response from my instructions or invites {a yes, I can do it later or no I cannot do it now}
6. Quiet play time after dinner {unless it is dance or family fun night}
7. Some time to myself {even if it is just a bath or to read a chapter of a book}
8. To know what is happening in my children's lives {personal sharing time}
9. My family to know I make mistakes {I am learning just like they are}
10. Sleep {all children to stay in beds all night}

Taking the time to explain and simplify instructions to children takes patience and understanding.

It takes repetition and consistency in making some of these things happen and I am still working out the best ways to help my cherubs see what my wishes are. I also have to take into consideration that what works for one child is not going to work with another in helping them learn and understand.

Over my time I have often made the mistake of forgetting to explain my desires it to the younger children in our family. I had just assumed that as I had already told the older children, that the younger children would just pick it up and get it. Only to find myself in a total state of frustration by them not following along with what is happening and at the moment when I thought I would explode remembering I had not sat them down and explained myself to them.

Now we use our weekly family night to update our family. We go through the calendar and through the expectations in our home and also have a separate family council night where we talk about any concerns or issues happening in our home. These can be very emotional meetings (mainly from me!) and I will do another post on this at another time. It really deserves it's own post.

As a mother do you know what you want and what you expect?
How do you go about explaining yourself in your home?