simply beautiful jewels: my personalised necklace

It is no secret that I love jewellery.
I wear it every single day.

Today I am stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing one of my new 'simply beautiful' blog posts. I decided to call it simply beautiful as I like to look beautiful every day and I also like to keep it simple. I wanted to share some of the jewellery I wear and hopefully give you some ideas as well. I love jewellery as it helps me to feel happier and I love accessorising my outfits. 

One item of jewellery I have always wanted to own is a personalised necklace. Something special to represent our family. The chances of me ever having some spare cash to get one made up for me has been very slim lately. So I decided to improvise and am delighted with the results.

I created my own personalised necklace when I found these charms on sale in Diva for $2 each. I grabbed one to represent each member of our family. I then added them to a necklace I already owned and I loved that it has the same look at the charms. Perfect match.

I can now wear each family member close to my heart. Total cost being $18. I am happy with that bargain personalised necklace. As far as wearing it goes, it does not sit flat against my chest but hangs more in a bunch. I love the look of it and I love to wear it with stripes or even sitting nicely underneath a shirt. It is also a fun necklace as when I am wearing it my cherubs come up to find which letter they are and get excited that 'they' are hanging around my neck. It really does become a personal necklace.

Wearing the actual necklace. I think I need to smile more next time!
By the way: I am very, very excited to be a Mix Apparel Blogger. 
Check it out HERE!

celebrating and embracing the good we do

So often as women I find we talk down the good things that we do. 
We do not celebrate or embrace enough the good achievements that we make in our daily lives.

It is like it is not allowed. That it is wrong that we speak positively of our achievements in our home or to others. It drives me crazy that it is seen as bragging and boasting of our achievments instead of embracing and empowering ourselves for what we have done. I dislike that in trying to share some of these moments that women often can come away feeling ashamed and made to feel embarassed for speaking up and believing in themselves.

I believe we can and should celebrate our strengths and positive {motherhood} moments we have in life. Some of these moments are tough to get through and the only praise we receive from getting through them comes from ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with saying, 'You know what, I did an awesome job of getting everyone ready for school this morning' or 'Wow! I actually handled that situation really well. I cannot believe I did not lose my temper!'.

Personally, I had a really difficult situation with one of my daughters last week. It was a horrible time. At the end of the experience I was amazed just how calm I stayed through the whole process. Sure I got a little fired up, sure I felt I was going to explode but when it came time to talking to my daughter I was calm, cool and collected! I gave myself a pat on the back and allowed myself to feel happy with how I handled the situation.

To embrace this problem and encourage a little celebrating of the good that we do I wanted to see if you could share with me some of your great moments you have had lately. It can be at home, at work or in any situation in life. Let's celebrate today how awesome we are and start today off feeling good about ourselves.

the things children say

If you have children you know that they can say the funniest things.
Some of our funniest conversations happen around our dinner table.

Here is one of my favourites:

So we are all sitting at the dinner table eating our meal when out of nowhere one of my cherubs says,
"Mum, you bought me at the shops, didn't you?"

I turn to look at this child surprised because surely we have talked about this topic before. I reply,
"No, I did not buy you at the shops. If only it was that easy!"

My cherub then says,
"Well, where did you get me from then?"

All eyes are then on me. The older cherubs smile to themselves, the younger cherubs look to me for answers and Matt keeps eating his dinner.

I am thinking, we are at the dinner table, let's make this brief and I will have a better chat to him later. 
I reply, "You grew in my tummy and when you were big enough you came out"

Everyone continue's eating and I look over to see my questioning cherub deep in thought.
My cherub then asks me, "Did you buy anyone else at the shops?"

I reply, "No, I did not buy anyone at the shops. Every one of you grew in my tummy. 
I even had two of you growing in my tummy at the same time."

My cherub looks at me and says, "Is there another baby growing in your tummy?"

I reply, "No, there are no more babies growing in my tummy. I have finished growing babies in my tummy."

My cherub then looks at me. Frowns, and then asks me,
"Well, who is in your boobs then?

Ummm...Yeah! What the?!?
Hahahaha! The things children say.

Let's move on to the next dinner time topic shall we!

My creative space and where I write

Just in case you were wondering where I write and blog.
Where my creative space is.

Here it is.

Yes, my lounge room wall is blue.
Yes, I like a clean desk.
Yes, I have a spare chair next to me for cherubs.
Yes, I made those flowers on the wall.
Yes, I love spending time here.

So now you can see where I normally sit to write.
Nothing too exciting but I love it.

Simple, blue and uplifting for me.
Have a great weekend.

dark and light of motherhood

I wrote this post 2 years ago and never published it.
I was worried it was a little too heavy for my blog.

This morning I decided, well it's my blog and today I like heavy.
So here we go!

During the week I had an appointment in the city and took my 2 year old daughter on the train with me. On this trip she taught me some valuable lessons about motherhood and helped me to see things with a different perspective.

As we were riding the train my daughter stood up on the chair to look out the window and she was surprised to see everything go black as we entered a tunnel. She loudly yelled out,
‘Dark mummy Dark’ and I said ‘Yes, it is dark outside’.

As she turned back to look out the window the train came out of the tunnel and she was delighted that she could now see out of the window. She smiled as she saw the scenery wizzing past.
“Light mummy light’ she yelled out to me.
“Yes, you can see the trees and the cars now’ I replied.
She was very happy that it was light and that she could enjoy the view on the train.

Shortly after that experience my daughter looked out the window and saw a train go past that had carriages filled with dirt and spray paint all over the outside of them. She looked at me and said, ‘Dirty mummy dirty’. Then she looked at the train we were riding in and lovingly rubbed the walls and said, ‘Clean mummy clean’.

Even though this was a small simple experience, I was impressed that my 2 year old daughter knew the difference between dark and light and it was obvious that she loved the light. As I pondered this moment I was reminded of the sacred role of being a mother, of the responsibility I have to continue to teach my daughter to love the light, to look for the light in her life and to also understand that the ‘light’ is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was also surprised that at such a young age she could clearly define the difference between dirty and clean. Oh! How I love that she cares to be clean. As her mother I know it is my responsibility to teach her how she can live a life that is clean and to teach her gospel principles.

{I want to insert here that I really believe that a clean life is a life that is lived by being kind, loving and considerate of others. It is about respecting yourself, your body and that of those around you. It is about being modest in speech, thought and action. I know my children will not be perfect at living a life like this and neither am I, but I want to teach them the best I can to live a life that is clean in purpose to save them from so much sadness that I see immodesty brings.}

As mothers we hope that even if our children find themselves in the dark and in situations where they may feel dirty or disappointed with choices they have made, that they can remember what we have taught them and know where to turn to find help. I want to always be available for my children, to help them in the dark and light of life and to love them regardless of whether or not they feel dirty or clean.

I know that there will be times when I myself will feel lost in the dark as a mother. That the trials we will go through as a family will feel like we are stuck in a tunnel with no hope of reaching the light. Such is life in a family. When we have had times like this we have clung to the light, we have hoped to see the light and we have kept moving forward until we reached that light, together. It has come through continual moments of sacrifice, service, and love.

The experience on the train helped me to see that even from a young age children can recognise the difference between dark and light, between dirty and clean and that teaching my cherubs to live the best life they can is such a worthwhile use of my time.

Seven Cherubs family update

Time for a Seven Cherubs family update.
We have been so busy lately that I have not found the time to do one for a while.
Such is life with a large family.

 A few moments I am loving:

Sam wants to dress like his big brother for church on Sunday.
I am loving the tie look happening from him.

Of course this cute look is still accompanied with a cheeky smile.

Nathan is growing up more and more each day.
Handsome, sincere and an awesome big brother.

Chelsea is full on into teenage mode. Braces, ipod touch, social life.
Looking forward to when she can start babysitting for me!

We took Nathan to the temple (Mormon Temple) for the first time and had a wonderful experience. 
Love being able to share such special experiences with him.

Out the front of the Brisbane Temple. 
Did I mention I think he looks handsome?

Liberty and I continue to hang out together during the week.
She continue's her cheekiness in asking for lollies at every opportunity.
So hard to say NO to that face!!

Speaking of Liberty, have I mentioned that my baby is growing up.
My youngest is now 4! Sob!

Liberty is now attending Kindergarten a couple of days a week.
Very exciting for her and for me.

 She is excellent at getting herself ready in the morning and keeping the routine after school.
All those years of watching the big kids has paid off!

Now that I have a few days to go out by myself I can have a lunch date with a spunky guy!

After looking in the mirror at my chubby cheeks and several chins I am getting healthy.
Currently on the Michelle Bridges Program. Dying!

We have spent a lot of time at a really cool playground near us.
Blog post to come!

We have been trying to get to bed earlier as a family.
Going well so far and at 9:30pm I am trying to leave it all and to just crash it.

I am trying to relax a little more.
To plan more time to chill out and to get my head together.
Always so much going on in our house.

 Still driving around in my commuter bus and freaking people out.
(Liahona is hiding in this picture)

These three, so love it when they help me out.
Love having older kids to help carry the load.

Until next time, update is complete.

overcoming happiness obstacles

On the journey to finding happiness we face many obstacles. 
Some of them we put there ourselves and some of them are put there by others. 

How much we desire happiness in our life is determined by how well we overcome these obstacles.

I have been on my happiness journey for a while now. On this journey I have discovered many new things that I love to do and I have also discovered many new things about myself as well. Some of these discoveries have been good and some have been like receiving a real smack in the face! Along the way I have faced some obstacles that have stopped me in my tracks and some obstacles that have made me more determined to work harder at feeling happier.

Some obstacles that can stop us from find happiness are:

Our own mind and thoughts,
Self doubt and belief that we can find happiness,
A busy schedule so that we have no time for ourselves,
Fear of failure so that we do not even try or participate,
Trying to control the situation so that we forget to feel and enjoy,
Anxiety for what may happen or come from trying new experiences,
Fear of spending time with ourselves for what we may discover and
Lack of self worth to believe we are worth the effort and time.

Some tips for overcoming obstacles are:

Give yourself time and be patient with yourself,
Do not give up and keep trying new experiences,
Set aside regular time just for you,
Start small and set simple goals,
Involve a trusted friend or family member to encourage you,
Start with what you know you enjoy and love,
Be positive and speak kindly to yourself and
Know you are worth investing in and ask others to remind you.

So often to find happiness we feel it needs to be all encompassing and a big event. Happiness can start with finding small moments each day that are just for ourselves. The combination of all of those small moments lead us to feeling happier and more content with our lives. Obstacles are there to test us and can even work out to be beneficial and a blessing in helping us learn more about ourselves.

In my ebook, Pockets Of Happiness, I help you plan out and find time for creating meaningful moments. In my experience, having something just for me gives me something to look forward to and planning in that time makes it easier to overcome obstacles in my path.

Finding Religion Part 2

Part one: Finding Religion
Continuing my story.

After spending a short amount of time during my teenage years doing some light Bible reading, I put away my Bible not to touch it for about 4 more years. Religion crossed my mind several times during this period as I often stopped to chat to anyone who was promoting a certain faith or church.

As I talked to people from other faiths I enjoyed what they had to say. I agreed on many points of their teachings but in my heart they never felt quite right for me. I continued on my journey of life and my thoughts started turning towards finding a religion that I knew in my heart and mind was for me. Strangely enough during this time I did not remember seeing any young men in suits. 

I moved out of home at 17, enrolled in University, found a job in the city and lived a busy and full life. I found friends, I went out on the weekends, I danced my heart out, I dated, I shopped, I studied and I tried my best to keep up with what a normal young adult would do at that time and stage of life.

After completing several years of University I took a year off to work full time. I wanted to save a little more money and to think more about what direction I wanted to take my life. The more I started to think about where I was heading the more depressed I started to feel. 

I spent about two months feeling deeply depressed. During this time I wanted to end my life. I spent all of my day writing out my thoughts and reasons for not living. I planned it all out. How it would happen, who would find me and even set a time and date for when ending my life would take place. 

It consumed my thoughts constantly and I simply could not see any reason to keep living. 

One night, very late at night I had an experience that changed my mind. The only way I can describe it is that I had a moment where I could see clearly, it was if I had pure knowledge. It was taught a simple truth.

Into my mind and heart came an impression or concept.
It was that there is life after this Earth life. That there really is a place to go to.

It touched me. I had never pondered it very much before. I had heard people talk of heaven but I had never personally applied it to myself. How it would affect me.

I clung to that knowledge. I pondered over would happen if I ended my life. The emotional and mental state that I would be in if I ended my life right then. It scared me. I did not want to go to that next place as messed up as I was feeling, I wanted to go there as a happier, stronger person.

I then made the decision to do whatever it takes to get myself better.
That simple truth and knowledge saved my life.

I quit my job. I enrolled back into University more determined to finish my study and to follow my dreams. I slowly started to make changes that agreed with what I was feeling.

Story to be continued.

Have you ever had an impression or experience that changed your life?

a morning at the beach

Last weekend my family whisked me away for a morning at the beach.
The weather was delightful.

Not too cold and not too hot.
It was just the pick me up I needed.

I spent the morning watching my cherubs play in the surf.
It was simple, it was joyful and it was greatly needed.

We all went home sandy, refreshed and with awesome beach hair.
The best morning I have had for a long time.
Love my family.

Negative Self-Talk

I have always tried to be a positive person and felt that I was doing a great job looking for the good in my life. I was positive when I spoke to other people and naturally have the disposition to want to uplift and encourage others. 
It is something I enjoy doing.

Then one day I decided to really listen to what I was saying to myself as I went about my daily activities around my home. 
I decided to pay more attention to my self talk. 

In doing so I was shocked to discover that I have been bashing myself up daily. 
Serving up a dose of negative self talk on a silver platter.

Sounds blunt and maybe over the top but in reality it is true. 
I cannot think of any other way to describe it.

Every day I found I was internally, emotionally and mentally bashing myself up for not living up to my own standards and values. Scolding, criticising and talking down myself in unkind ways.

I don't get angry or swear at myself. I discovered I am critical in small subtle ways.
Short sentences repeated daily in my mind loaded with negative expressions.

I constantly found myself saying sentences like:
'You have done it wrong again.'
'You always make the same mistake.'
'Nobody is listening to you, you have no influence.'
'You are a failure as a mother.'
'Don't bother to try it, no-one will like it.'

Once I started to recognise these sentences I made another discovery.
I was taking my own negative advice!

I allowed myself to listen, to stop myself, from being better and progressing.
Who needs enemies when you have your own negative self talk!

Here is what I have found:
Bashing yourself up does not motivate you to make changes
Bashing yourself up actually makes you feel worse and stops your progress.

It was like one of those light bulb moments!

What I came to see is that I needed greater kindness and compassion...from myself.
I needed to love myself more. I needed to speak positive to myself more.

Learning to self love can be a slow journey and struggling to see any good in yourself takes patience and time. 
I am now spending more time listening to myself in a new way.

When the negative self talk starts to happen I now question myself.
Is the situation really that bad?
Am I really as bad as I think I am?
Is what I am thinking really true?
Am I the only one who is thinking this way?

By questioning myself I find I can see the situation in new light.
I can see that a lot of the time I over dramatise the situation and it really is not as bad as I thought.

Changing your negative self talk takes more energy and concentration during the day.
The benefits however are empowering.

I feel happier, more motivated and peaceful within myself.
I more connected to who I am and more confident in following my dreams.

I would love to know what you do to help with negative self talk.
How do you change your thinking?

win year of stationery John Sands giveaway

I don't know what it is about stationery but whenever I see a lovely, quality stationery range my heart starts to flutter and I get really excited about owning it! Nine times out of ten, when I see gorgeous paper or cards in a shop they always end up coming home with me. I can't resist. They are either saved to send off to someone special with a note or placed in a frame to display around my home.

John Sands recently contacted me regarding the Papyrus stationery range. It is a stationery range that is versatile, in that it caters to the need of all stationery lovers and enthusiasts. There are cards, bags, note sets and gift giving accessories that will delight kids and adults. They print a stylish selection that will appeal to females and males, including a huge range of designs such as contemporary, luxurious, traditional, playful, cute and humorous. 

When I received my selection of Papyrus products to review I opened the boxed and gasped! Yes, my heart started to flutter and I slowly, carefully removed every item to inspect and enjoy. I really appreciated the many boxed sets of 'thank you' cards as I have so much to be grateful and thankful for right now. I also loved the embellishments and details on each card and each set comes with a lovely gold embossed hummingbird sticker. I was sent a HUGE selection of Papyrus stationery to review and now have enough to last me a whole year! I am in total stationery heaven!

Below are some of the gorgeous cards, bags and stationery accessories I was sent. 
Brace yourselves:
I know...colourful, gorgeous and creative.
You want to see more...don't you?
Check out some more below:

I just love the colour and the variety.

Papyrus has been in Australia for about one year now and I really think it is here to stay with the fabulous collection they have available ranging from custom printing, greeting cards, stationery, invitations, gift wrapping, ribbon and selected gifts that are all wonderful for those special moments such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers or just because. I now have a basket on my desk loaded with cards just an arms reach away ready to send off with a special note or letter to someone I care about. Delightful! 

Now seeing as Papyrus believes that life is a celebration, let's do a little celebrating ourselves with a giveaway shall we? Yes, I think we shall. John Sands has for a lucky Seven Cherubs reader a years worth of Papyrus stationery to giveaway. 
I hope your heart is fluttering? Woo Hoo! 

Below is an example of what you will receive:

The Seven Cherubs reader will receive:
Gift Bags: - 4 x $9.99 - 2 x $11.99 - 1 x $7.99 
Greeting Cards: - 4 x $6.99 - 4 x $8.99 - 2 x $10.99 - 1 x $12.99 
Gift Cards: - 2 x $2.99 - 1 x $3.99 - 2 X 4.99 - 1 x $5.99 
Boxed Stationery: - 1 x $14.99 - 2 x $16.99 - 1 x $21.99 - 1 x $24.99 - 1 x $29.99 - 1 x $39.99 

This gives you a total of a $363.00 prize pack.

{Colours will vary from the image above and some of the items are not included in the giveaway}

Giveaway open to Aussie and New Zealand residents.
To enter you need to like John Sands on facebook and fill in 
the information below. Good luck xx