Monday, October 31, 2011

My Postnatal Depression story

I believe in facing your fears and following your heart.

If I knew I could not fail, one of the things that I would talk about is Postnatal Depression. I would be brave enough to share part of my story with others in the hope that it would be helpful...to at least one other person.

If I helped at least one other person, it would be worth being brave for, it would be worth opening up my heart for and would be worth being criticised for. It would be worth sharing what the symptoms of Postnatal Depression are, that there are many women who struggle with this challenge and there is support and help available.

I have dealt with many challenges on my motherhood journey and Postnatal Depression was a scary, lonely journey that was a shock and total surprise to me when I discovered that was what I had.

So today, I wanted to be brave and to share my personal experience of Postnatal Depression as it is not talked about enough. I wanted to do this as I worry about all the women that have Postnatal Depression and do not even know it.

They struggle alone and in silence.
It can be a traumatic, exhausting and anxiety filled path.

Motherhood can be a lonely journey and I wanted to share my story to encourage more women to speak up for themselves and to ask for help if they need it.

There is nothing wrong with admitting we need help.
It does not mean we are a failure as a mother.

I have needed help many times on my motherhood journey.
It was the last thing I wanted to ask for but I knew I needed it.

I decided to share my Postnatal Depression story with you in a vlog. Once again, it is not very good quality vlog wise but it is as good as it is going to get from me right now.

I hope you can feel from my heart how passionate I am about Postnatal Depression.

It is real, it changes you and it can be overcome.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Start a new Christmas tradition with Lindt Teddy Bear

We have some lovely Christmas traditions in our home that we treasure and enjoy doing together as a family. We look forward to them all year and anticipate with excitement the opportunity to participate in them as Christmas grows closer. This year however, we need to start a new Christmas tradition of gift giving with the release of the new Lindt Teddy Bear.

Chocolate and I, we have been friends for a long time. Yes, it is that bad that I feel completely comfortable calling chocolate my friend. Haha! Lindt chocolate is my absolute favourite chocolate and I have been having a really hard time keeping to myself the exciting debut appearance of the Lindt Teddy Bear just in time for Christmas.

I am sure you are familiar with the Lindt Gold Bunny that many Australian's have fallen in love with and now the Lindt Gold Bunny has a friend, the Lindt Teddy Bear.

Made from the finest Lindt chocolate, the Lindt Teddy Bear has a happy smile, golden wrapping and a lovely red heart charm to bring a little Christmas magic to your home. It would make a perfect stocking stuffer for yourself or for your cherubs. Made in a mould and hollow on the inside, it has that lovely creamy Lindt chocolate flavour that we all love. It comes in a variety of sizes and would even make a gorgeous table decoration on Christmas Day.

Now, I am a little fussy with the products that I share here at Seven Cherubs so I had to ummm....check out the goods of course, just to make sure that Lindt was still keeping the chocolate up to the excellent standard we all love and expect. 

So I took on this tough assignment and I am happy to say I was very impressed. 
Check out what I was able to sample below:
Uh huh! A whole bag of Lindt chocolate....I know, I about passed out as well! It was filled with cute Lindt Chocolate Teddy Bears and I totally earned myself some serious mummy points with my cherubs for having a blog on this day!
The larger Lindt Teddy Bear comes with a bright red ribbon and a sweet heart charm. The charm adds an extra touch of loveliness and would make a great gift for Christmas.

Lindt is also releasing other Christmas themed chocolates with gift boxes and tins filled with Lindt chocolate goodness and delights. You can keep up to date on all Lindt treats by checking them out on facebook here.

The Lindt Teddy Bear is only going to be available in Target stores nationwide and they are even going to have some in-store sampling just to allow you to try the Lindt Teddy Bear out.
Target will also be offering exclusive in-store promotions where you can get yourself a free limited edition Lindt Teddy Bear USB with selected purchases on selected dates. I have to say I am a little excited about mine. Keeping it from my kids...now that is another story!

So how do I really feel about the release of the new Lindt Teddy Bear???
1. Hello my friend, you look so cute and adorable and you look almost too good to eat....almost!
2. Kids, don't mess with me, it is chocolate time. It's mine, all mine!!
3. Do I share with hubby??? Nahhh!
My favourite way to see the Lindt Teddy Bear: headless and gone!
They are even the perfect size for small cherub hands....

So, now that I have shared with you just how awesome the new Lindt Teddy Bear is AND I know you are just dying to try one out for yourself AND if I was going to finish my 1000 follower celebration here at Seven Cherubs, it would not be complete without a little chocolate to sweeten the experience.

Thanks to Lindt I have one gift pack of Lindt Teddy Bears to giveaway here at Seven Cherubs.
*insert jumping, clapping and cheering*

This is what one lucky Seven Cherubs reader will win below:


Giveaway Guidelines:
1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winners chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close November 11th, 2011
5. Leave a comment below to enter and tell me:

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

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

If you live in Brisbane you might want to check out these dates for sampling opportunities:

December 1st, Myer Centre, Brisbane City - 5-8pm
December 3, Brookside Shopping Centre, Brookside - 11am-2pm
December 3, Chermside Shopping Centre, Chermside - 11am-2pm
December 8, Mount Ommany Shopping Centre, Mount Ommany - 5-8pm
December 10, Shop 197, 1151 Creek Road, Carindale - 11am-2pm
December 10, Westfield Shopping Centre, Indooroopilly - 11am-2pm

These dates are subject to change and you can keep up to date on Lindt chocolate events here.
You can also follow Lindt on twitter here.


GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED!
CONGRATS TO SWEET LITTLE BIRDY

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to describe motherhood

Giveaway now closed!
The winners are:

Motherhood Print:
Sara (at) TisTheLife.com
Colours Of Sunset

Kids Print:
Butterflykisses

I love being a mother but motherhood is hard to put into words. There are so many emotions, thoughts, special moments and unique connections that we have with our children that it is hard to describe to others. A great way to start describing motherhood is to start with a Motherhood Manifesto.

As you know I am currently trying my best to collect words that best describe motherhood. In fact, I am trying to collect 1000 words that relate to motherhood. As I am discovering, not an easy task!

I have written a lot about being a mother on my blog. How I am happy being a stay at home mum, how sometimes I feel lonely as a mother and how to avoid feeling guilty as a mother. I am also a big believer in taking time out for you as a mother...not easy to do but so important.

As a mother to many cherubs I love to have little reminders around my home of my important role to nurture and care for my children. I find it so helpful when I am having one of those moments where I feel like I might explode or where I feel like that what I am doing is not making any difference at all in the lives of my children. By the way, I have those moments all the time!

I was delighted when I was asked to have a look at the brilliant Manifesto for Mums over at The Smile Collective. This site is run by one of my lovely blog friends Kelly, (she also has another gorgeous blog: I love pretty things), and is currently living her dream of being a designer, writer, blogger and mother. She is the owner and Creative Director of Swish Design, a perth based graphic and web design company.


Kelly has created A Manifesto for Mums and it really is the closest I have seen on how to describe motherhood. Knowing Kelly she would have carefully taken the time to really think about how to describe what motherhood means to her and selected those words which touch her heart the most. I love the words she has used: Love, Trust, Mistakes, Practical and Savour. It is presented so wonderfully and just so gorgeous to look at it. A great addition to any home of a mother.


Not only has Kelly created a Manifesto for Mums but she has also created a Manifesto for Kids. Such a cool idea and totally fun to put up around you home. I don't know about you but I have a small addiction to prints...just love them and they always look so good framed. In this Manifesto I love that she included: get your smiles on, make a mess, ice-cream and go exploring. I just smile reading it!

As we are having a week of giveaway celebrations here at Seven Cherubs, Kelly has been kind enough to offer some Manifesto's to giveaway! I know...I did a little dance as well.

We have available 3 x A3 size poster prints of the Manifesto for Mums to win. This print comes in a variety of colours...check them out below...and you can even pick out your own colour!!

We also have available 3 x A3 size poster prints of the Manifesto for Kids. This print comes in two different colours to choose from. Check them out below:

Each print is valued at $30 each and would even make a wonderful gift for a friend or even your own mother. So today we have 6 winners each receiving a poster print for your home.

You can check out the Smile Collective on Shop/Facebook/Twitter
I also recommend checking out Kelly's freebies Here.


Giveaway Guidelines:
1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winners chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close November 8th, 2011
5. Leave a comment below to enter and tell me:

What word do you use to describe motherhood?

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

You can also enter my:
Christmas Planner Giveaway
Garnier BB Cream Giveaway
Lunchbox and Ambi Pur Giveaway



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to make an Instagram Heart Wall Decoration

I am a little bit in love with Instagram. The fact that I have over 1000 pictures in my collection kind of tells me I like to have fun mixing up my pictures and sharing them with others. My username is sevencherubs if you are interested in checking them out.

I have seen some really cool wall decorations in Pinterest using Instagram and have always wanted to create a similar look in my home. I love decorating around my house and really wanted to give making an Instagram heart wall decoration a try.

I have this blank wall in my entrance way. I had repainted it a while back and left it blank waiting until I found just the right decoration to display there.


I ordered some prints here to start my heart wall decoration. I love that there are several different options to choose from and I am delighted with the results:



When the prints arrived in the mail, I simply added a little blu-tack to the back and stuck them to my wall. So easy! Of course I still have a lot more space on my wall and am looking forward to expanding my heart shape with a few more prints in the future. Thanks so much Chantelle!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Review and Giveaway

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED
The winners are:

Jenn from Happiness, from the ground up
Michelle Rivet
Chont
Dorothy from Singular Insanity
Jasmine1485
Karen Lee
Emma from Cheeky Chicken Photography
Queen of the monkeys
Kellie - The Good, The Bad, and The Unnecessary
Effie

Garnier has released a new BB Cream. A Miracle Skin Perfector and Daily Blemish Balm providing an all-in-one solution to your complexion and skin care needs. Garnier are the first to introduce a Blemish Balm cream to Australia.

If you are wondering what a Blemish Balm is the best way to describe it is as an all-in-one cream that covers five different actions: Hydrate for 24 hours, Even tone, Correct blemishes, Boost healthy glow and SPF15+ protection.

As a woman with fair skin, I often find it very difficult to find makeup that is light enough to match my skin type. It is either too dark for me or feels too thick on my skin. I do not like to wear makeup that is heavy on my face but, I also do not mind showing off some of my freckles. They add character! Finding a balance between all of my wants in a tube has had me trying many different types of makeup available on the market over the years.

Now that I am getting a little older, I am finding the need to seek out a cream to help me cover up a few unsightly marks that seem to be appearing with age. I was so delighted when Garnier sent me some Miracle Cream Skin Perfector to review. I am so glad that I said YES!


I have been using the BB Cream for over a week now and started off with the Light version right away. When I first looked in the tube I really did not think that it would suit my skin colour but was happily surprised that is not as dark as it looks. I can easily spread several layers of the cream on my skin to help cover up underneath my eyes or other blotches and still have it looking nice and even.

I was very surprised that I could just apply this Blemish Balm to my face and that is all I would need to wear for the day. It cuts down on my makeup time in the morning and I totally love having only one product that I can apply to my face and then be ready to rush off for a busy day.

I love that it is light on my skin and was delighted with how it feels when I apply it. I love the feel of cream going on my skin and this is smooth and soft to apply. As soon as I put it on I could tell that it was really going to hydrate my skin and was so pleased it has SPF15+ sun protection as I get sunburnt so easily!

The medium version of the Miracle Skin Perfector cream I can still use as after playing around with the creams I have found that even with fair skin I can mix the two colours together and still end up with a blend that suits my skin type. I am very happy with this product. New loyal customer here!

If you are interested in checking out more about this product you can look it up on the Garnier Website and Garnier Facebook page.

The BB cream is currently available at Priceline and is being rolled out to supermarkets, pharmacies, independent & variety stores as I type!

Other bloggers who have reviewed the cream are:

DanniiBeauty, Kate Say Stuff, Toushka Lee, Nobashake and Mumma's Mini Me's.


Garnier would love you to try out this BB Cream and I have 10 packs of the Light and Medium shade to giveaway. Each winner will receive:

1 x Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Light
1 x Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Med
Valued at $13.95ea (total $27.90 prize pack)

Giveaway Guidelines:
1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winners chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close November 1st, 2011
5. Leave a comment below to enter.

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

You can also enter my Christmas Planner Giveaway HERE.

Disclosure: I received some beautiful goodies from Garnier including the new BB cream. No payment was offered or accepted, and all opinions are my own.


Monday, October 17, 2011

stay at home mum and happy home

stay at home mum

Lately I have been working harder to be a happy stay at home mum
I love being a stay at home mum and love working on having a happy home.

I know not every day around here is going to be bliss with raising a large family but I have been wanting to be happier in my role and to seek for a happy home. It has been a while, 13 years in fact, since I made the decision to be a stay at home mum. It was an easy decision to make in my heart but a difficult decision to make financially. It really involved turning my back on going back to work and to commit to spending my time focusing on my family each and every day.

Some days I feel as if I am trapped or stuck within the walls of my home and feel stir crazy looking at the same furniture, same mess and same home decorations each day.

Even though I have days like that I take my role as a stay at home mum very seriously. I expect that there are going to be days when I don't feel like doing it, where I feel overwhelmed and where I just don't feel like I can take it any more. Days where I just don't feel happy at home. On these days my mind starts to wander and I start thinking about what my life would be like if I was in the workforce or even a work from home mum.

For me being a stay at home mum involves so much more than doing the dishes, doing the washing and doing the cooking. All of those activities are necessary and important and have to be done but for me it is also about creating a good home environment and about creating a 'feel' to our home.

I work hard on analysing each room in our house. On getting the set up and design right. I de-clutter and simplify to create space for play and fun. I try to only have items in our home that reflect our family and values. Although I do this, I also strongly believe that the feel in a home is vital to achieve a happy home.

I have been to homes that are spotless, that are extremely well organised only to have a cold, sad feeling in the home. A feeling of a family that is not connected, that is controlled by routines and the busyness of life instead of joy and laughter. A feeling that there is not that environment or climate for growth and love, but more of keeping up an image and pressure to be perfect. 

I know I am probably coming across as judging others and I am not saying that it wrong and that they do not love their children but for me, I like to always be on the lookout for ways that I can improve in my role as a stay at home mum. I pay attention to how I feel and what I see when whenever I am out as I always have my mum hat on...learning, pondering and desiring to be better.

Not perfect, but better.

Most importantly to help the feel of our home, I work hard on myself.  My own happiness and attitude plays a vital role in the feel of our home. Keeping up a good attitude and cheerful disposition each day as a stay at home mum is a difficult task.

With seven children in my home, at least one person is always feeling sad or upset about something and I know that this can affect the feel in our home. For me, as a stay at home mum I try to not let the attitude or feelings of my children determine what mood I will be in for the day.

It is hard to be cheerful when you have several children upset or moody but I am getting better at waking up and determining my own happiness for the day and sticking to that happiness plan.

It is not possible to do every single day.
It is possible to do most days.

Often I feel that many women feel depressed or disappointed with life as a stay at home mum because they have their expectations set way too high. They expect that they have to enjoy every moment, that every day is going to delightful and fun and go smoothly. Ask any woman who has children if this is what actually happens and they will say NO.

Right now for me, I am happy to be a stay at home mum, raising my cherubs and being a homemaker. I am spending more time looking for small treasures in my day, working on feeling happier within myself and trying to create a better 'feel' in my home so we can have a happy home.

Being a stay at home mum is my career choice.
I truly love it am so thankful I get the opportunity to do so.

Monday, October 10, 2011

a lonely mother


I am a mother to many children and happily married.

But often I feel like a lonely mother. That I am on this journey alone
That it is me facing the world and battling with everything in my path all by myself

Even though I am surrounded by children, even though I am married, even though I have many facebook friends, even though I have many followers on my blog, on twitter and on my Seven Cherubs facebook page.

Even though I see other women at church every weekend and at other activities I attend during the week. Even though I am friendly and chat to new people I meet, I still feel lonely.

I start to feel incredibly lonely when my phone never rings. When I do not get visits from anyone and when I cannot remember the last time someone really asked me how I am going.

I mean really asked me how I am going.

I had a good ponder about this the other day.

I have many friends and aquaintances but I don't feel like I have real friends.

Not what I would call a good friend, who is there to listen to me no matter what, who regularly calls me to chat, whose house I can go to if I need help, who I know I could ask for help and would come right away.

I have women who I just adore and want to have a great friendship with but it never seems to work out. I love the friends and acquaintances I do have but I guess I am craving a real, girly, best friend type of relationship.

In some ways I feel hurt, I feel rejected and I feel at a loss of what I can do better. I remember one lady that I suggested catching up with some time saying, 'I always make time to see the people I want to see and have in my life,' and then watched her visit and become friends with many others around me but not with me. I had no answer to what I could possibly do to become friends with her and just left it at that.

Having a family of many children is hard work and I believe that most people think I am some type of supermum - who can just handle it all. Almost like I have no feelings, almost like: Yes, Naomi...she will be fine, she can cope with anything!

I know there are many women who are living a far more lonely life than me, who are doing it tough and are battling as a mother every single day to be strong and to move forward. I so admire and respect and believe they are doing the hardest work ever. Some of you may even think I need to grow up, to get over it, to stop winging and to just get on with my life, to be realistic and that I am too demanding.

I am not trying to put down those who are really doing it alone, I am just sharing that you know what...even though you can be surrounded by loved ones and have a full life: you can feel so lonely some days, you can hurt and you can feel rejected.

After pondering this I can see that I have not been that kind of friend either. I am always too busy, I am always having to cancel events I get invited to as I normally end up having at least one sick child the day it is on, I am always thinking no-one would want to talk to me or would want to be interested in what I have to say and I have too many children to trade with: a swap of 1 or 2 for 5 or 7 is just not the same! I think for some women, I am a too hard basket to deal with.

So where do I go from here. Nowhere probably.

I will keep living my life that is busy and full...where I do feel incredibly happy and blessed.
Where I do feel loved and supported but also lonely and rejected some days.

Having a large family today is taking a path that is less travelled.
Being a stay at home mum today is a becoming a path less travelled.

It can be a lonely work, a hard work and a demanding work.
Friendships with other women can bring a brightness and sunshine to your life.

I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I think it is a female thing.
We need that kind of relationship, that kind of friendship.

We need that closeness to know we are not alone, that we can make it each day and we need someone to talk to about our worries, our burdens and our joys with raising children.

I just think it is so hard to find. Great friends are special treasures.
If you are able to find a great friend in life you are truly blessed.

I have not given up hope, I am not moping around my house letting myself get depressed about it, I still believe I have plenty of time left to develop these types of relationship in my life and I love it when I can see that type of friendship starting to blossom. I just need to make the time to work on nurturing it.

What have you found in your life? 
Do you feel lonely and do you crave this type of girly friendship?

Matt says that now that I have posted this I will have everyone saying to me:
 'How are you really going Naomi??" Haha!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Nurturing Plan - Part 1.


I have mentioned before that every year I go away for a weekend, (yes, all by myself!), to work on a nurturing plan for the next year that is for me and for my family. I treasure this time away and enjoy the quiet time to ponder and reflect upon each child and also how I am personally going.

I know many of you are interested in what I actually do during this time so I have decided to share with you the process I go through. I have decided to break it down into parts as it will be way to much to post in just one blogpost. I hope you find it helpful.

First of all, to start me off I sit down and take a careful look at my feelings towards motherhood.
I write out My Careful Considerations.

My Careful Considerations are a collection of my thoughts regarding motherhood that I have been pondering over the past year. They are personal thoughts that I want to take into account and consideration before I begin writing out my nurturing plan. The last thing I want to do when I take a weekend away is to feel guilty and depressed and disappointed in relation to how I am functioning as a mother.

I use My Careful Considerations to inspire me, to keep me focused and to remind me to keep it real.
Here is what I wrote out this year:

I then take some time to reflect on how I feel about these words and I let them settle upon my heart.
When I feel I have my mind right and my heart right.

This sometimes takes a while but I do give myself a time limit and I then move on to writing my plan.

I will share the writing part in Part 2.

You are most welcome to copy My Careful Considerations if you want to.
You can also download it from HERE if it is easier.

If you choose to download it I would love for you to add yourself as a follower on my blog as a way to say thanks if you are not already. Enjoy x

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My thoughts on blogging

A keeping it real blog post.
My first video blog.

Delightful freeze frame!



Yes, my mouth goes funny when I talk.
Yes, I need to look at the camera more.
Yes, I cry a lot.

No, I am not going to stop blogging.