Friday, September 30, 2011

happy child happy mummy

As a mother, I love it when my children are happy. It brings a feeling of peace and contentment to my heart. As a blogger, I love it when I find products that make me happy. It brings a feeling of delight and excitement when I find products that I believe will help other children and mummy's feel happy as well.

Here are a few that I believe equal happy child and happy mummy:

Baby Bowl


Kim McCosker has a new book out called Baby Bowl and I was delighted to receive a copy. I am a big fan of her other 4 ingredients books and love that she has written a book compiling Australian recipes to help us have happy, healthy babies and toddlers.

I wished that I had a book like this when I was starting out with babies as it walks you through the basics of baby food preparation, storage, defrosting and even the sometimes difficult task of even trying to feed a baby! Kim also addresses Allergies, Hygiene and Reflux with guidelines for a good daily healthy routine that starts right from birth. This book is written for children 12 months and under.

I love that she has collected recipes that are fast and easy to prepare, contain nutritional value and even provides a menu plan for your babies and toddlers. Included are gluten free and dairy free recipes and they have been hand picked using her wisdom and personal experience.

Of course I totally love that she wrote this book based on what worked for her with her three boys and on advice passed down from her grandmother and mother. The recipes are simple and yummo! Green and Gold Nuggets, Impossible pie, Peach Delights, Coconut Pikelets and many more I wanted to devour and munch out on.

If you have a young cherub and are just starting out as a mother I highly recommend this book.

You can find out more: Website and Facebook

I have 3 copies of Baby Bowl by Kim McCosker to giveaway.

Busby Pure Tissue Oil

I am a big fan of beauty products. I love to have a small collection to apply that helps me feel a little special as I prepare for my day. It makes me feel a little happier knowing I have a few things just for me. I especially love natural products and was excited when Busby Natural Oils contacted me about doing a giveaway on my blog.

Busby Pure Tissue Oil is a face and body oil that helps to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and dehydrated skin. As a mother who has had seven children and is very familiar with stretch marks, I have to say that I know that no amount of oil is going to get rid of them! Those battle marks are here to stay and will be with me always. As far as dry skin and wrinkles go, Busby Tissue Oil can make a difference.

I checked out some reviews on Busby facebook page and here is what I found:
*Being very skeptical I purchased the small pump bottle of the Pure Tissue Oil four days ago, well, WOW...amazing!
*I received a sample of Busby and I love it, smells amazingly fresh and really works. I have seen results already.

After testing it out I really love the smell, (avocado, grape seed and rose hip) and found the texture to be a nice light oil feel. Not too oily but just enough to feel that it was making a difference. I actually like putting it on my hands when they are feeling a little dry. It is recommended that it is applied to dry areas of your body twice daily to help make a difference.

You can find out more: Website and Facebook.

I have 5 bottles of Busby Pure Tissue Oil to giveaway x 100ml.

Fairy Dishwashing


A couple of months ago I attended an event that was all hush hush (put on by Ambi Pur) and extremely educational and sensory inspiring. At this event I was introduced to the brand name: Fairy. Extremely popular in the UK and now available in Australia this range of products is set to give all other cleaning products a run for their money. You may have seen them in the shops already.

Having been sent a bunch of Fairy products to try out, I have been putting these to the test over the past couple of months. I have to say that I have been really impressed with the results. Love the fact that the capsules for the dishwasher come in an all in one pack that you just pop in and don't even have to open. 

I was also sent an awesome collection from the new Ambi Pur range and love the wonderful smell choices they have on offer. The people from Ambi Pur are so dedicated to smells that have been working on a survey where they interviewed over 2000 people from all across Australia to get an idea about what smells Australians love and hate, what places and jobs are the smelliest, and to basically check out our noses!! They are calling it the national scentsus!

They even have a new commercial out featuring some of our blogging pals Emma Healy and Brenda Gaddi...check it out here.

I have 2 Ultimate Dishing Packs to giveaway

Each will include:
o 1 x Fairy Dish Liquid – RRP $3.99
o 1 x Fairy All in One dishwashing tablets – RRP $20.99
o 1 x Fairy Platinum dishwashing tablets – RRP $20.99
o 1 x Tupperware lunch container – RRP $24.99
Total Value: $70 each

Hallmark Recordable Storybook
We are serious book lovers in our house and big time storybook readers. I was very excited to be sent this adorable storybook from Hallmark called, 'All the Ways I Love You'. When it arrived I was more excited than the kids as I was so looking forward to recording my own voice for my cherubs to listen to.

Hallmark’s Recordable Storybooks are beautifully illustrated hardcover books that allow parents, grandparents, family and friends to record themselves reading a story to their loved ones. Perfect if you are like us and live away from family and it is lovely that children can feel that they are connected to family members through sound and voice.

I have to say that I had so much fun recording my story. I loved that every page of the Recordable Storybook is recorded separately so that it automatically knows which page the reader is on, even if the child flicks back and forwards. As a little surprise for my children, I recorded Matt saying one line in the story and it just sounds so great!

Hallmark has a great selection to choose from and you can check out the whole range here. I think they would make awesome birthday or Christmas gifts and are a wonderful keepsake. My cherubs think that it is way cool and I love seeing them smile when they are reading it. My older kids were a little freaked out that it was my voice and thought it was such a clever idea. It is now a family favourite book.

I have one Recordable Storybook, 'All the Ways I Love You', to giveaway.


***********


In total today there will be 11 winners.
Here are the guidelines:

1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog (if you are not already)
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winners chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close October 14th, 2011
5. Leave a comment below to enter and tell me what giveaway or giveaways you would love to win.

{Please make sure you leave your email address with your entry. So many giveaway entries do not have email attached and I have to keep redrawing winners as I cannot contact you. Thanks}


You can also enter The Mum Who Roared Book Giveaway HERE.


Congratulations to Kate at Puddles and Gumboots you are the winner of the Deshabille Nightshirt and Amba from Team Mummy you are the winner of the Dulux Colour Consultation. Enjoy x

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Digital Parents Blog Carnival September


Woo hoo! I am very excited to be hosting the Digital Parents Blog Carnival for September. It is so popular I had to put my name down months and months ago to be able to host this awesome event and I think the carnival is already booked up for the next year! Crazy stuff!!

The Digital Parents Carnival was started by the lovely Brenda (who just announce the conference details for next year...check it out here) and is now overseen and keep in thorough check by the lovely Kristen (who is coming to Australia again..woo hoo!). With a massive following and super awesome bloggers who write on a large range of topics, this carnival is a must read every single month. I have had a sneak peak at some of the links on display for today and believe me....you will not be disappointed...

So let's get on with the show...break out the popcorn, put your commenting hat on, strap yourselves in and let the ride begin:

Check out A little space like home: Mandy
The Importance of Embracing the Camera - Regardless of how you see yourself you should smile and get your picture taken.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Wanderlust: Kristin Brumm
Life, one year on - One year after the assault - what has changed and what hasn't.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out The Parenting Files: Tahlia
What I know about sadness - Sadness is real. Crying is norma! I know that there have been time when I felt alone and isolated. What is sadness. What does sadness mean to you?
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Madam Bipolar: Lisa
Five things to say to someone with depression - Inspired by Mia Freedman's column about what not to say to sick people, I came up with my own how-to support people with depression. Remember, even if it is a card, speak up. People need people. Even if you don't know what to say, say so.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook.

Check out Crash Test Mummy: Laney
Things a toddler will punish you for - The things a toddler gets up to when you turn your back.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Nappy Daze: Donna
Reflections of a first date, three years on - about the day my baby and I first met.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Parental Parody: Georgina
An open letter to Ikea: Fan mail to the much loved meatball mass producer. With a side rant about paying for a pittance in cream. Ending with a plea to reduce the age requirements for the free daycare/kiddland/world's largest ballpit...because mummy needs to drink her endlessly-refillable coffee in peace, while it is still hot.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook.

Check out The Confused Housewife: Natasha Ceecato
My twins birth - It is lovely to look back at the pictures and memories surrounding my girls birth.
Connect: Twitter

Check out Mummy K: Kristyn
Why I am joining the Landmark Forum (even if I don't want to) - I have registered to join the Landmark Forum, a conference that has been said to be a cult. So watch this space after it in case I start sounding even more looney online.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Musing of the Misguided: Tegan
The long time coming post - This post was probably the hardest for me to write as a mother to a 2 year old. It is about owning up to my past mistakes and realising that while they make me the person I am today...I have grown and learnt from them.
Connect: Facebook

Check out Domesblissity: Anne
Shirley Barber and how to survive Book Week - No matter how much notice you get, the once a year event that is 'Book Week' is enough to send shivers down the spine of the most organised Mum.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Blossom Heart: Alyce
Breast feeding, weight gain and mental health - What happens when you listen to well-inteding medical advice..then stop listening and relax.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Joelene's Mumbo Jumbo: Joelene
Warning: Miracle Burn Grow - Don't you just love the way that children's minds work? The innocent (and often hilarious) knack they have of telling it like it is, kinda sucks sometimes though, especially when it is pertaining to your rear-end!
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Jadeluxe: Jade
First Days - It is August so that means the start of the school year...at least it does here in Hong Kong! An account of my sons first day at 'big boy school' - which is a big ask for any kid, especially when 95% of their classmates don't speak the same language.
Connect: Facebook

Check out Motivating Mum: Alli Price
Social Media Etiquette - Tips on dealing with manners and spammers on facebook and twitter.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Learning Activities: Ramona
My name is...Activity Books - A post about a child's name being one of the first words they recognise, read and write. I have made a few booklets with a variety of activities inside based around different names.
Connect: Twitter

Check out Mumstrosity: Liz
Is it OK to backhand someones 4 year old? - Sticky situations with kids in the playground.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Bright Side Up: Melissa
W.O.W Breathing, breathing out - A write on Wednesday exercise involving anxiety and panic attacks.
Connect: Twitter

Check out Peta-Jo
The day I left him - He has been by my side for almost four years. In fact I can count on one hand the number of times we have been separate from each other. Any wonder his first day at child care was so hard.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Denyse Whelan: Denyse
Schoolwork at home is Homework - On twitter there was quite a conversation happening about the purpose and the amount of homework, especially for young children. I was asked my opinion, as I am a retired Primary School Principal. I gave it, via 140 characters...but that was not enough, so I posted. I have quite strong views on homework, as both a teacher and a parent. What about you?
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Parent Wellbeing: Jodie Benveniste
What makes a good parent - The parenting top 10 - Although many of us have faced info overload and contradictory and confusing info as parents, there are some solid statements we can make about what parents can do to raise happy, healthy kids. In fact, research tells us that there are 10 parenting practices that support better relationships between parents and children, and help promote happier and healthier children.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Wide Eyed Girl: Nicole
Go Away Mummy - Do your legs long for an existence free from a cruising infant or impatient toddler? Do you remember who you were before your name was changed to 'Maaaaarrrrmmm'? Go Away Mummy is an insight into what can happen to your state of mind if you take a break from the sometimes asylum that is motherhood, wifedom and domesticated bliss.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter

Check out Farmers Wifey: Michelle
Blame the washing machine: A funny post about her washing machine getting the blame for everything!
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out The Things I'd Tell You: Melissa Mitchell
Cherishing My Sons - A snap shot of where my boys are right now
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Home Life Simplified: Deb Dane
Do you have a bad day plan? - There are days when we feel we are treading water at the best and drowning at the worst. In the moment it can be impossible to see through the feeling of being overwhelmed. Creating a bad day plan when you are feeling good can help you get through the tougher times.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Tessie Girl: Gillian James
Twin Talk - This post attempts to decipher the crazy language of 2.5 year old twin boys!
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out At Home Mum: Bronwyn
Less than Perfect - Good Enough Mum - This post is about motherhood, the ideals of parental perfection and letting go of plans and dreams about how family life is 'supposed to be'. It is about my choice to make happiness a priority and to be the 'good enough mum'.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Mum To J: Jo
The Difference between Autism and Aspergers - I was told by a a well meaning parent that 'it could be worse, he could have Autism', and wanted to scream so I wrote this post instead.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Happy Mums at Home: Kirri White
The Power of Vulnerability - A piece about being authentic and how vulnerability can leed to deeper relationships and real connection.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Kylie Ofiu: Kylie Ofiu
Our worst year ever - The past year has been our hardest financially with a trashed rental property, unemployment, separating and more. But we got through it and had no idea just how bad thing were until we reflected.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out My Home Truths: Kirsty Russell
Feeling Human - Is about a welcome escape I enjoyed where I left my mummy and wife identities behind and was just 'Kirsty' again for an evening.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out Tina Gray {dot} me: Tina
Everything I know about parenting, I learned from my husband. Kinda - The day I found out I was pregnant the first time, 19 years ago *gasp*, as much as I was over the moon and excited about becoming a mother, I was also petrified.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Check out My Mummy Daze: Fiona Purcell
10 things you need to know before baby: Remember the good old days before nappy changing and sleep deprivation entered your life? Here are 10 quick tips you wish you could have appreciated more before starting a family.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

last of all....
Check out Me...
How I go shopping with seven children - A few tips on how to take lots of kids out to the shops and how I survive the experience.
Connect: Twitter and Facebook

Now that should keep you busy for a little while.
If you love giveaways you might want to enter mine here and here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

deliberate mothering women's conference


Once upon a time there were two mothers, Felicity and Naomi (me), who loved to stalk, obsess and drool over two blog sites about motherhood found here and here. They loved to read every single word that was published and would often find themselves day dreaming about meeting these lovely ladies in person.

One day Felicity and Naomi decided to talk to each other about it. They emailed and laughed, and joked about it happening and for a moment they dared to believe it might actually happen one day and they would have the chance to meet these lovely ladies in person. Then one day they decided to get serious, they took a chance, the faced their fears and they decided to just ASK.

These two lofty dreaming mothers did what they felt was impossible: they ASKED April, Saren and Shawni if they would come to Australia to teach and train and uplift mothers right here on our wonderful Aussie shores. Felicity and Naomi waited and hoped and prayed that they would say yes.

Much to their surprise and absolute disbelief, these awesome ladies said YES.
*insert screaming, yelling, jumping up and down and massive amounts of freaking out*

We are so excited to let you know we will be having two women's conferences/retreats here in Australia in March 2012. One on the Gold Coast and one in Sydney.

We are beside ourselves with excitement!

These women are super awesome at helping women embrace motherhood and at becoming more deliberate in their mothering role. They have very popular websites and know their stuff!

As a sneak peak some of the topics we will be having in-depth discussions about will be:
*Taking care of the "Me' in Mum
*Creating family systems
*Deliberate mothering
*Steps for less stress and more.

Registrations will be opening up soon and I look forward to sharing a little more about this exciting adventure with you. I hope you can mark your calendars and come join us for this awesome event.

Did I mention my blog hero and super-uber blogger Shawni Pothier is coming???
Eeeek! freaking out ladies, freaking out!!

UPDATE: Registrations are now open. We only have 75 seats available for each conference and I know they are going to sell out fast! We wanted to keep the numbers small to make it more personal and so you can the most out of the speakers training us. There are different packages available to cater to your price range and needs. We hope you can join us and I am so looking forward to seeing you there.

Get in quick ladies!

The link for the Gold Coast event is HERE (March 9-10th)

The link for the Sydney event is HERE (March 16-17th)

It is really happening.
Exciting!

How to be happy * Paint your own dreams



I have been enjoying my little blog break lately and have been pondering what my personal dreams are. I am working on painting my own canvas and have been mixing up colours all over the place. During this time I have been reminding myself that I am the painter, that my picture is going to look different to anyone else and that I can change what it looks like at anytime. It is my own masterpiece.

If you could paint your own dream what would it look like? Would it be simple in black and white?Would it be full of colour? A large canvas print or a small framed print?
Are your dreams big or small?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cherish your cherubs project: Show Affection


If you have just discovered my blog or are dropping by after some time away, every Monday for the past couple of weeks I have been running a Cherish your Cherubs Project here on my blog. A little project to help us appreciate and adore our children/cherubs more and a way to record and remember them in our lives. Every week I share a topic and other bloggers link up and share how they have gone focusing on that topic in their lives. So far we have done:
Week 1 - Record
Week 2 - Remember
Week 3 - Interview
Week 4 - Praise
Week 5 - Write.

This week is the last week for this project and the topic is Affection. For Week 6: I wanted you to work on showing some more affection to your cherubs. As a parent I believe that physical touch plays a big role in how children feel about themselves and affects the way they move into relationships they have in the future. Some suggestions were to spend time hugging, patting, rocking, cuddling, holding hands or even brushing their hair. 

With my seven cherubs they love me to show affection in different ways. Each child is different and unique. We have grown to love each other more and more over the years and we have also worked out what works best for us in relation to affection as mother and child. 

Here is what each of my cherubs love:

Sam loves it when I hug him and hold him tight.

Liberty loves hugs that are cheek to cheek...and squishy!

Harmony loves hugs that are close but... not so squishy.

Eli loves hugs that involve kisses and squishing and everything!

Nathan loves an arm around the shoulder hug and me just chatting.

Chelsea likes close hugs and to have fun with nose kisses!

As Chelsea is taller than me our hugs normally involve me leaning on HER shoulder!!

Liahona loves hugs and kisses and big smooches!

We are an affectionate family and I love to see my children show affection to each other as well. I love it when I catch them being caring and loving and kind naturally...instead of affection only happening when I have had to say, "Go and hug your sister or brother and say sorry for what you just did" Haha!

I find when I make the effort to show more affection to my children, I receive it back in return. They offer to give me a back rub, run up and give me a hug for no reason, pat my leg or rub arm when we are talking or sit closer to me when we are chilling on the couch. 


This week is the last week of my Cherish your Cherubs Project and I have had so much fun writing about the six different topics. Thank YOU so much for joining in and for all of the wonderful women who linked up with me each week. I found you inspiring and so appreciate the sneak peak into your homes and your hearts.

Now for the fun part. Time to link up your Week 6. Affection moments you have to share. This can be a new blog post or an older blog post. Anything that relates to showing affection to your children. I will leave the link open for the rest of the week and I hope that if you do decide to link up a post that you will take the time to read and comment on a few others to spread the blog love. I am looking forward to reading what you have to share and thanks so much for joining in.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

keeping a house of order


I am guest posting over at The Organised Housewife on keeping a house of order today.
You can check it out here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Giveaway: The MUM who ROARED

As you know, I am passionate about motherhood and love to help inspire women to believe in themselves. To help inspire you today I am sharing with you an interview with Christie Nicholas, who is a mum of 2, author of The Mum Who Roared and who also heads up Kids Business Marketing and Public relations. Christie has a new book out which I have had the pleasure of reading.

The Mum Who Roared is a complete A-Z guide to loving your mind, body and attitude after baby. It’s all about feeling great about yourself as a woman, while you tackle head-on all the demands of motherhood.


Christie shares her thoughts on why mums should take care of themselves too…
After having a baby, it took some time for me to redefine who I was as a person. Pre baby so much of what I was doing shaped who I thought I was, and now instead of working, socialising, studying, earning money, dressing up, being valued, respected, acknowledged in the workplace, I was going to the park, cooking, cleaning, not earning money, forever frumpy, doing flashcards, etc.  Other than my child I didn’t know what else to take pride in and feel passionate about.

As much as I LOVE my children and I LOVE being a mum (most days), I feel like I am an even better mum when I nurture some of my other values too, away from the role of mum. Here’s why:

Why do some women lose their sense of self when they become mothers?
The role of ‘mum’ consumes all your time.  There is plenty to do as mum and simply no time for anything else. It is just easier to get on with the job of mum and it takes effort and regular commitment, more than pre-kids, to nurture your sense of self.  But the pay off is that you feel great about yourself as an individual, as a woman, not only as a mum.


Why is it important to maintain a strong sense of self in motherhood?
The role of mum is so much about doing things for others, giving, sacrificing and it is relentless. If you spend all your time in the role of mum, your energy levels will get depleted. You might start to feel neglected, uninspired, depressed, and you can easily lose that spark and fire in your belly that you once had.  That spark and passion is what made you You and you should value yourself enough to keep it alive- you are still also a woman.

By maintaining a strong sense of self you are genuinely a fitter, healthier and happier individual.  When you feel like this, it is your family who will also reap the benefits.

How should mums deal with feeling selfish, guilty or unwilling to invest in themselves?
If you nurture your needs too, you are setting an example for your kids. Instead of feeling selfish or guilty, you should feel like you are being a responsible role model. You’re actually demonstrating to your kids that it is important to live a healthy, balanced life, to have values, to respect yourself, take pride in yourself and address your individual needs.

What are some of the typical signs a mother has lost her identity?
Some signs a mum has lost her identity includes: not knowing what you want, what you like/dislike, not having much else to talk about outside the role of mum, no appetite for outside interests, lack of confidence around new people/social environments, low self-esteem.

The big thing for me was that I felt that I lost that ‘fire in your belly’ feeling and had no ‘passion’ for anything other than my child. I felt a flat, uninterested and like every single day was forever the same. That was my wake-up call to start addressing my needs too.

How can motherhood be an opportunity to enhance our identities?
Because of the fact that there is simply less time to do it all, we have to focus more on what matters most and what will make the biggest difference to our lives.  It’s a chance to let go of the petty things and focus on our core values and being true to ourselves.

Most importantly, if we chose to, motherhood is the excuse we need to develop and enhance our identities to really be the person our kids see: a generous, loving, funny, beautiful, smart, happy woman.


Quick tips for preventing loss of identity…
Check in with yourself regularly and ask yourself if you are really happy, and learn to admit what areas of your life and yourself need a little TLC, then make it a priority to do something about it on a regular basis.  


But how and where do you start???
It can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. For it to happen you have to commit to prioritising you sometimes. It’s not about making one dramatic change that will impact your life and those around you. It’s about implementing small changes, consistently and often until you don’t even notice that taking care of you is part of your daily life/lifestyle.

There are lots of little things that all add up to make a difference to you:
let go of unessential jobs or get help
take pride in your appearance every day
book and keep regular appointments
set some goals
nurturing a passion away from the role of mum
having regular time out
going shopping just for you
learn something new
spend more time with people who inspire you
get out of your comfort zone

And remember…as a result, you will benefit with improved self esteem, confidence, you will feel passionate, feel a little more in control, satisfied with different areas of your life.  They are all great feelings to have. Ultimately the most important benefit to your family is that you will be genuinely happier as a person and this will come through into what you are doing as a mum. Remember to be nice to yourself and believe in what you are capable of as a person, not only as a mum.


I have a large collection of books on motherhood and it is a topic I really love to read about. I enjoyed The MUM who roared as it is an honest, funny, keeping it real account of motherhood. I love that the book is set out in alphabetical order and you can pick up the book and turn to any page to be inspired.

I love that there are thoughts and quotes from many other women throughout the whole book on motherhood, where they share the real life joys and challenges they have faced. It includes goals, tips, traits and practical ways to be mother. I love that Christie has included 100 goal cards at the end of her book to cut out and use as inspiration.

Christie has given me one copy of The Mum Who Roared to giveaway here at Seven Cherubs.

Here are the guidelines for the giveaway:
1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog (if you are not already)
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winner chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close October 7th, 2011
5. Leave a comment below and tell me:

What do you love to ROAR about as a mother??

{Please make sure you leave your email address with your entry. So many giveaway entries do not have email attached and I have to keep redrawing winners as I cannot contact you. Thanks}

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mother Heart: The Confused Housewife


I have not done a Mother Heart feature for a while and thought that I would share with you a lovely local Brisbane blogger that I have connected with through my blog. Of course I love the fact that she also has super cute twins so let me introduce you to Natasha:

ABOUT YOU:
My name is Natasha, I want to become a Registered Midwife so I’m going to University for the first time in my life next year (scary). I started playing roller derby 6 months ago to help me battle my Postnatal Depression and I can now say that it worked. Now I’m now in love with the sport and the great women I play with, it really gives me a sense of belonging. I am an avid reader, love photography, I was a Beauty Therapist before children and we love to travel.


YOUR FAMILY:
I have been with my husband now since I was 13, we were deeply in love then just as we’re deeply in love now. My Italian mother in law did not like me until we got engaged (I was 23 and Dion 25) and I couldn’t understand it. It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I understood the unique bond between a parent and a child. Now we’re best friends and we only live 50 meters away from them. I have identical twin girls that will be 2 in November, they look like me and when their cranky Dion says they act like me too! I’m a stay at home mum which I love, it’s not always easy but I wouldn’t change a thing, ok maybe the PND I would like to change.


MOTHER HEART:
I grew up around domestic violence, so one of my life goals was to be with someone who is kind, funny, respectful to others, kind to children and good looking (hee hee), because I knew I wanted a better life for my children and myself. I’m lucky I did find that, but unfortunately I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, if that makes sense (but I’m working on that!).  Being a mother now, it really makes me reflect on my own childhood and it makes me aware about my own parenting style. It has made me aware that it’s my choice how to parent my children and that’s been really empowering for me. My girls call me mummy now and it really makes my heart burst, I love seeing the new things the do.


GOALS:
My goals for my children..hmmm..a doctor and a lawyer :) No, really I just want them to be happy. I want them to be kind, confident, strong, happy adults that put their hand up to help others in need and I want them to find kind, nurturing partners to share their life with.


PICTURE: 

BLOG: I started my blog to connect to others and to share my stories. I write about my girls, my PND, roller derby, posting photos and mainly life in general.

You can check out Nathasha as the Confused Housewife HERE.


Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us Natasha.
I so love you in that wig...so awesome!
Pop on over and say Hi to Natasha and share some blog love with her.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blogging and Making time for your Partner


As I am taking a little blogging break and am cutting back on my internet time I have a guest post for you from Tahlia over at the Parenting Files about how to make time for your partner:

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My husband got a little peeved off at me the other night.
“I’ve hidden your computer. Let’s see if you can go a whole evening without it.”

Now it got me thinking, did he want to see how obsessed or addicted I was with my computer and blogging while trying to test me, or was he trying to find a subtle way to say,
“Darling, I want to have some quality time with you!”

I have to admit, I was not too happy about the computer being confiscated… I felt like I was back in high school for a minute (a real short minute mind you).

We have been viewing the XFactor; one of our shows that we like to watch and follow together.

Confession: lately I have been watching it with my computer on my lap.
But on this occasion, he wanted no computer.

I’m sitting, twiddling my thumbs because this episode was supper boring… I just want to see who gets into the top twelve and this “boot camp” is hardly a boot camp.

“Let’s cuddle”… I just want to jump back onto my little white machine, as lately it has been my down time, my place to unwind. But I cannot help but wonder how wrong I was on this particular evening. I cannot help but feel a little guilty for choosing my little white box over couple time with my husband.

So it got me asking, how and when do we devote our time to our partner? 

It’s important. It’s needed.
But sometimes our other demands take over and our ‘couple time’ gets put on the back burner.

And when that couple time does eventuate, don’t those discussions of ‘what shall we do’ seem to just keep on happening? One wants sex, one doesn’t. One wants to watch a movie, one doesn’t. One wants to watch tv, and the other wants to surf the internet and cyber land.

So how do we compromise and make time for each other where we are both happy?
How do we juggle our relationship demands and expectations while also juggling our own?

Here I am previously saying we need to give ourselves permission to enjoy that hot romantic and intimate encounter. I certainly wasn’t doing that on this particular occasion.

I’m tired; I’m exhausted; It’s eleven o’clock already… I need sleep!
You cross my side of the bed tonight and things will not look so good!

So I have realized that it is all about planning! Ok, maybe not everything, but couples need to plan, organize, and schedule their “date nights”, their “computer free” nights, and even those nights of long and indulging romance.

Sometimes we let our life take over, we let the other pressures and commitments take over, and we get comfortable in our daily lives. We all need spice, we all need something different. We all need to give ourselves permission to turn off the switch, take time out and pay a little more attention to our other half.

So I have derived some tips as to how…
* Get imaginative with your date night rendezvous and take it in turns of who is planning.

* Make sure the kids are organized well in advance.

* Turn off the computer for at least one evening during the week. Watching those boring TV shows to keep the other happy is sometimes one of those things we just have to do (but if there is a cuddle involved hopefully it won’t be as boring). But, if it is boring, switch to something a little more exciting and humorous and a little funny. Maybe have some pre-recorded TV shows on the hard-drive (again, note to self). But try not to have an argument over what the next show is going to be.


What are your tips for juggling your couple time and other daily demands?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Cherish your Cherubs project: WRITE messages of love


If you have just discovered my blog or are dropping by after some time away, every Monday for the next couple of weeks I am running a Cherish your Cherubs Project here on my blog. A little project to help us appreciate and adore our children/cherubs more and a way to record and remember them in our lives. Every week other bloggers link up and share how they have gone in their lives and so far we have done:
Week 1 - Record
Week 2 - Remember
Week 3 - Interview
Week 4 - Praise.

Last week I was touched to read about the ways and lengths you go to as mothers to help your cherubs feel important, to have a healthy self esteem and the effort you put in to cater to the different ages and stages of your children's lives. Inspiring ladies, inspiring!

This week the topic was WRITE and I wanted to encourage you to spend some time writing out your feelings to your cherubs and to send some love messages to them. Some of the suggestions were:
Write them a letter, leave a note on a pillow, hide a note in a lunch box, make a poster etc.


One of the things I do as a mother that my cherubs love is when I pick up a packet of Love Notes from the shops (Woolworths $1.99 I think!) to leave on each pillow for them to find when they get home from school. I often leave a little handwritten note along with it to help them feel special. As I just have Liberty at home with me, her assignment is to go around and place each treat on or under all of the pillows and my assignment is to write the notes. Often I also get her to put the notes out as well to keep her busy. Amazingly she always leaves the treats there for them to find when they get home from school.  Liberty loves it and has so much trouble not telling them as soon as they get in the car at school pick up.


We are also big on surprises and making posters to celebrate achievements and welcome home moments in our house.  As I often leave notes of love around the house for family members I am always delighted when my cherubs decide to do the same back to me. Love finding a toy or a note or even a small chocolate under my pillow when I go to get into bed at night.

This week instead of showing you notes that I have written or pictures of posters that we have made, I have decided to show you how as a family we used writing to do a family activity. This activity of creating a family word tree was fun and helped us all to write and focus on words that describe all of us as a family. It was a lovely reminder that we are trying our best and that we are a great fun family.
To start with we cut out circles of paper to hang on our tree. We punched a hole in each circle and thread through some ribbon so that we could hang them up all over our tree. For our tree we used a large branch that was painted white. We placed the branch in a bucket, with large stones to hold it in place and stood it in our entrance way for us to see every day when we arrived home from being out somewhere.
We then sat down with our circles of paper and wrote on them words that described out family. We came up with a large list: Active, Beautiful, Awesome, Messy, Kind, Good, Honest and Creative to name a few.
We had a great time laughing over the words we chose to share and when we had finished we hung each word on our tree. The children loved doing the activity and it was a really simple fun way to use words and to write how we see our family. For the younger children it was a wonderful way to explain to them what some of the words mean and why we thought it fitted our family.
I hope that you have been enjoying the last couple of weeks with spending a little more time focusing on your cherubs and now, it is time to move onto what I would love for you to do for Week 6. Affection. This is the last week! So sad for me.

For the next week I would love for you to work on showing some more affection to your cherubs. As a parent I believe that physical touch plays a big role in how children feel about themselves and affects the way they move into relationships they have in the future. Showing affection can sometimes be hard for some of us as mother's, especially if you may have been raised where it was not a big thing to show affection to each other or even if you have a child that does not like touching or hugs.

There are several ways that you can go about showing affection to children in a healthy way and they involve spending time hugging, patting, rocking, cuddling, holding hands or even brushing their hair. Affection for me is all about touch and gentleness and kindness. It is about reaching out to our children and bringing them into our own personal space and holding them close in some way. Affection is also about understanding how your individual children love to have affection shown to them. Some of my cherubs love tight squishy hugs and others just love an arm around them.

When we show affection to our children they feel loved and worthy. They know that we care about them and showing affection to older children can sometimes be a little bit more of a challenge. Some children I think go through a phase where it is not cool for mum or dad to be laying on the affection and it is important during this time that they know you are there for them. There will be times when they will need that hug or hand holding for support and added reassurance, even if they don't think they need it.

I decided to do some research on ways to show affection to your children and when I typed that search topic into google I was really surprised to see my own blog show up. Haha! I totally forgot that I wrote a blog post for my happiness project on how to show affection to your cherubs. Too funny!

So to quote myself, here are some ways to show affection in your home:
1. Use kind words
2. Give hugs
3. Kiss family members
4. Spending time one on one
5. Wink
6. Smile
7. Hold hands
8. Give each other a massage
9. Sit closely together
10. Write love notes
11. Serve each other
12. Give small gifts

Some other great sites I found are:
40 ways to show your children love HERE
101 ways to show your children you love them HERE

Now for the fun part. Time to link up your Week 5. Write moments you have to share. This can be a new blog post or an older blog post. Anything that relates to how you have spent some time writing notes or using words to show love to your cherubs. I will leave the link open for the rest of the week incase you want to link up with us here. I hope that if you do decide to link up a post that you will take the time to read and comment on a few others to spread the blog love. If you are just finding out about this project you are most welcome to join in at any time. You do not have to start from week 1. I am so looking forward to reading what you have to share and thanks so much for joining in.

Friday, September 16, 2011

a heart that hurts


I love to keep my blog a positive and happy place but I am also a keeping it real kind of girl.
I love to write from my heart and do not mind sharing how I feel.
Some days my heart just hurts.

I decided to share my thoughts on this as a guest post HERE.
You might be able to relate in some way.

Signing out for real now!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

blog events and baby pack giveaway

I have been able to go to some wonderful blog events since starting this blog. Often these events are set up to help businesses promote their products and a great way for companies and bloggers to meet in person. One such event I went to (a couple of months ago now) was put on by Kids in Business who connect companies with Mums.


At these events as bloggers we are blessed to listen to wonderful speakers and I find they are well worth attending as you get to meet your awesome blog friends in person, you feel uplifted and motivated and you often get free products.

At this Blogger Brunch there was a good variety of companies represented for us to connect with. For me, I love working with companies I really feel our family will connect to and I enjoy working together on what will work out best for them and what will work out best for me. I was very excited that Weight Watchers was a sponsor of this event as I am in need of a little weight loss and health makeover myself. So I have signed up to take on a weight loss challenge and look forward to sharing it with you very soon. Eeeek!

Here is a sneak peak at me gate crashing a WW Meeting in Adelaide of all places:


Yes...that is me wearing a giant Weight Watcher bib...I especially love how it is covering me up!

Anyway, as soon as I saw that Garnier was a company being displayed at this blog event I zipped on over and had a chat right away. Love Garnier and was delighted to be able to take home a little gift pack to try out. Love the feel and love the smell of the products they have available. Will be buying these again for sure.
One of the other companies I was really interested in checking out was believe it or not: Protect A Bed. I buy so many bed protectors with seven kids and they always end up looking like this:


In this picture there are actually 2 different types of protectors I am using to try to cover the mattress. It drives me totally crazy when they split and tear. So I took a single bed protector home to review and to try out on our beds. I have to say that I love them. There is a such a difference in quality and they are so much easier to fit on a kids bed. The bottom of the protector stretches easily and makes it simple to change the beds, which I love!

I also was impressed with the terry towelling on top of the bed protector instead of just plastic and it makes the whole bed feel so much nicer. I am really happy with the product. See below the difference:


Now along with attending this great event and receiving some awesome free products, I was also sent some great products recently from the Baby and Toddler show who is coming to Sydney from September 30th - October 2nd. It looks like a great event and if you are having a baby or have recently had one I highly recommend making a day of it.

So with all of these free products I have decided to combine them all into a BIG giveaway.

Here are the items in the giveaway:


Included in this giveaway is:

1  x set of LANACare organic breast pads
1 x Moltex Eco nappy
1 x Jellystone Silicone Jewellery Teething necklace
1 x Bambooty green and white eco-friendly nappy 
1 x Stokke Baby Bib
1 x Million Dollar Woman notepad
1 x Babylove car window protector
1 x Inner-B Weekly Menu Planner
2 x Aunty Rozzy Books
1 x Single Bed Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector
1 x Waterproof Terry Pillow Protector Standard Size
1 x 60ml container of Bio-Oil 
1 x Madii&dyl Luxe Cleansing Flannel
1 x Garnier Anti-Dark Circles Roll-on
1 x Garnier Body Ultra Softening Lotion 400 ml
1 x Blackmores Kids Multi - 60 tablets
1 x Blackmores Kids Fruity Fishies - 30 Capsules

Phew! what a lot of products! A great prize pack for winning.

Here are the guidelines for the giveaway:

1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog (if you are not already)
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winner chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close September 30th, 2011
5. Leave a comment below to enter

{Please make sure you leave your email address with your entry. So many giveaway entries do not have email attached and I have to keep redrawing winners as I cannot contact you. Thanks}


I also have 4 Double Passes to Better Homes and Gardens Live in Sydney September 23-25th. Each double pass is worth $40. Add BHG to your comment if you want a chance to win a double pass.

Also, I am taking a blog break for a couple of weeks. I have a few posts lined up but other than that I am taking some time off to spend with my family and to have a rest. Taking some time to think, to restore and to just be. See you when I get back. Cheers,