Thursday, May 31, 2012

creating a home and simplifying life


I have been taking some extra time out this week to work more on creating a better feeling in our home. I already feel we have a good feeling in our home but I realise that this needs to start with me personally more. I want to work a little more on my thoughts, my attitude and my decision to wake up happy each day. 

I love this woman above. Her name is Marjorie Pay Hinckley and was the wife of a leader from my church. She was sweet, she was humble but she was fiercely dedicated to her family. She had a no nonsense approach to being a wife and mother. She was practical yet so inspiring.

I love her thoughts on creating a home:

"As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think about your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey."

I also love her thoughts about being a woman:

"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are."

The older I get the more comfortable I am in my own skin. I feel more content and less distracted by the dramas of life around me and I feel that my family gives me the contentment I need in life. This was exactly the inspiration I needed to read right now to help me take creating a home to a new level. I just needed that extra little encouragement and push to look for more joy and to simplify my life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Home Inspiration: scarf storage solution

Home Inspiration: My Scarf Storage Solution

With the cooler weather creeping up on us in the mornings here in Brisbane, I have been delighted to break out a few of my favourite scarves to wear for the school drop off run. In doing so I thought some of you might like to see my storage solution of how I store my scarves. I don't have a massive collection of scarves but I do have a few favourites that quickly out grew my small container I used to keep them in. 

I basically use 2 products to store my scarves. The first one is an over the door hanger that I picked up in Ikea. I can't remember how much it cost but I know it was not that expensive to purchase. It has six hooks but I only really use one of them to store my scarves. 


I store my scarves on the back of the door to my walk in wardrobe. I am going to show you on the outside of the door how I store them as it is too dark and cramped in my wardrobe to take proper pictures. So first of all I hang up the door hanger over the back of the door.


The second item I use is another hanger I picked up from Ikea. I love this as it is simple and light weight. It has a lot of holes to hang up scarves with and suits me wonderfully.


So the next step I take is to hang the light weight hanger on one of the hooks on the over the door hanger. This allows it to sit nicely on the back of the door and is a good use of unused space in my walk in robe.

Then I simply start to thread my scarves through the holes in the light weight hanger. You can add as many as you want and space them out how you want. I tend to spread mine out a little so it makes it easier to see what scarves I own and then I am not tempted to buy more scarves and fill up every hole!


When I have finished adding all of my favourite scarves, I have a scarf storage solution that sits nicely behind my door and is visually easy for me to see what scarf I want to wear. I also like to keep my scarves in my walk in robe so that when I am getting dressed I can quickly and easily pick out a scarf to wear that will match my outfit. 

You can also use the extra hooks to hand up handbags, necklaces or any other accessories that you love to wear with your outfits. I have an extra spot for my handbags and one day I will get around to showing you that storage solution as well. 

Hope you enjoyed having a look.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mum and Baby pamper pack giveaway


A few little treats for Mum and Baby to help pamper your day
A Weleda Baby Care Pack and a Jurlique Skin Care Pack

Available to win:

1 x Large Calendula Nappy Change Cream 
2 x Small Calendula Nappy Change Creams
1 x Calendula Bath Cream 
1 x Baby Teething Powder
1 x Purely White Skin Brightening Mist
1 x Daily Exfoliating Cream
1 x Purely White Skin Brightening Essence

Giveaway Guidelines:

1. Open to Aussie residents only
2. Entries close June 4th, 2012
3. Leave a comment below and tell me:

What is your favourite way to be pampered?


{I have never used any of these products before and therefore can't share my opinion on them. 
I am giving away these products because they were sent to me and I will not use them.}

Giveaway Now Closed.
Congrats Wattle Girl you are the winner.

Pet Peeve: Bucket List's


I have a pet peeve with Bucket Lists. They get to me.
Actually, they drive me nuts!

Whenever I look on the internet for blog posts about bucket lists, I seem to spend about 1 minute reading them and then have to click away. I know a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die or a list of life goals you want to achieve in your lifetime but when I look at the current bucket lists available on the internet...I wonder why people set them when seriously, you can see there is no way they are actually going to achieve them.

The chances of me actually hosting Saturday night live, meeting Brad Pitt, riding in the Tour De France, playing in an orchestra, releasing an album, diving in a submarine, seeing gorilla's in a jungle, visiting all 50 states in America or even running with with the bulls are very slim. Most suggestions or recommendations on these buckets lists are just extreme. I understand they are encouraging us to dream big but some dreams, no matter how big you dream just don't end up coming true.

I am a realist. Enter the pet peeve.

If I was ever going to put together a Bucket List....hmmm....maybe a 'Buckets of Happiness' Ebook???!!!??? I would make it a list of achievable goals combined with dream goals. Goals that might actually stand a chance of happening. I would focus more on family and of doing goals together. Small goals that would stretch us but would also bring unity and fun to our lives.

So what are you thoughts about Bucket Lists: Do you love them? 
Do they drive you crazy? Do you have one?


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Things they didn't tell you about parenting


I have read my fair share of parenting books during my time as a parent and even though I found most of them helpful in some small way, I often wished they told me more the things that nobody spoke about in relation to parenting. Those things that everyone just assumes you know as a parent but really you have no clue about until a bundle is placed in your arms and you find out the hard way and by then it all feels too late! 

I am delighted to be included in a new ebook out called "Things they didn't tell you about parenting". This ebook brings together some of the best voices from around Australia’s parent blogging sphere and each of the 32 bloggers shares a unique experience about what they wished people had told them about parenting. The stories are funny, poignant, endearing, confronting, thought-provoking, loud and opinionated, quiet and thoughtful. We were asked to share what was in our heart for a great cause, so we dug deep and shared what we all wished we knew. 


The ebook has been put together to raise money for Foundation 18 which exists to improve the quality of life of orphaned and underprivileged children, by providing them a safe environment in which to grow whilst educating them for a brighter future living in harmony with their environment. 

The foundation was established in June 2010 by Australian humanitarian and conservationist Cate Bolt. Foundation 18 Indonesia is a non-denominational, not-for-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to the physical and emotional nourishment of children. I am honoured to be able to contribute to help raise money for such a great cause. 


With a foreword by funny lady Wendy Harmer, the ebook is a great read and currently sells for $4.99. A small price to pay to help out some cherubs in need. Pop on over to http://thingstheydidnttellyou.com and pick yourself up a copy and find out what we all wished we knew before becoming a parent.

*Please know that this book does contain swearing from certain authors*

Friday, May 25, 2012

my life lately from instagram

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Explanation:

1. Sam and Eli are growing up so fast! I am finding as they grow older, that they are starting to look more and more like each other.  I simply adore the way they go for the comb-over when they do their own hair. They have a lovely relationship with each other and make me laugh every day.

2. We took the big 4 cherubs out to the movies and because there was only 4 of them instead of 7 we were able to splurge on slushies...Ssshhhhh! Don't tell the others! They might not look happy in the picture above but they sure were excited to get those slushie drinks.

3. One of the first things I did to go sugar free was to clean out our snack cupboard. This cupboard is normally loaded with snacks for lunch boxes and treats and now looks like this. The kids, well...they are taking it hard!

4. I took Eli out on a lunch date to a place of his choice - McDonalds. We had a lovely time out together and he is growing up into such a wonderful young man. 

5. I have a new iphone case. Love it. Just to add a little glitter and sparkle to my life :)

6. Eli and Liberty have been setting off on a few adventures lately. I love how they pile up the skateboards on the back and have a totally innocent look on their faces. Some of the adventures they have set off on have not been so innocent!

7. Liahona and I have been trying out a few new hair styles on her hair lately. I received some extra mummy points by creating this look for free dress day at school. 

8. Small happiness pleasure for me lately has been these cute shoes. Stripes and a little red bow. Thank you Target for such a great find.

9. The tooth fairy had a bit of work out lately visiting our house several times as Sam and Eli lost teeth around the same time. Both boys are currently feeling very rich with the price of $2 per tooth. 

10. I am installing a padlock, bolt and serious security system in our house as my girls start to look more and more gorgeous as they grow older. This is Harmony who is simply stunning and I love that she has absolutely no ideas just how gorgeous she is.

11. I have been trying out a few new hair styles myself lately and love how easy it is to plait the front of my hair and then go about my day. New favourite hair style.

12. I watched Nathan run in the District Cross Country race and while I was there I saw a young girl run that has changed my own running technique forever. Nathan did a great job and next time I think he will remember it is good to actually practise before you run in a race.

13. The kids had a sleep out in the lounge and Liberty slept through all of the noise and antics that took place. That girl sure knows how to sleep!

14. Cleaning the bus is a serious endeavour. Harmony and Liahona recently took on the challenge and had an awesome time getting drenched and attempting to clean the bus. All I can say is that the bus became wet but not necessarily clean :)

15. Seeing as I spend so much time in my kitchen I have now added a plant and a stereo. I am hoping that the plant stays with us for more than 2 weeks but with my previous track record I am thinking this will be short lived.

You can follow me on Instagram HERE.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

moving through depression to face the music


Lately, I have been pondering how I handle difficult situations that come my way in life. I have been thinking if I am the type of person who avoids situations or if I am the type of person who is happy to take a stand and face the music.

As some one who has had moments of depression in my life, avoiding situations and confrontations has been what I thought was a good decision in the past but in reality it turned against me to make my depression worse.

By avoiding problems in life I felt that they would some how disappear, that I could brush them under the carpet and by saying nothing that it would fizzle out and die down.

In reality there really is no other way to deal with problems in life than by facing the music. Very few problems in life go away on their own. Some of them do die down but generally they rise again.

Now I know there is a difference between waiting to deal with a situation until you feel stronger and trying to avoid it altogether. My regular plan when I was younger was to try to avoid it altogether.

Often the situations I faced left me feeling depressed. What I did not realise was that they left me stuck feeling depressed by doing nothing about it. By being willing to face situations and problems we can move through the feelings of depression. We deal with them and move on, hopefully feeling better and having learned lessons that will help us the next time a difficult situation comes our way.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

As a youth growing up I had an experience that hurt me deeply. I cried, I struggled and I felt very depressed about it. I decided that the best way to deal with it was to push my feelings aside. To store them for another time to deal with.

I felt I was doing myself a favour. Protecting myself I guess.
Little did I know that the hurt and depression stayed with me.

It festered within me and slowly grew stronger and stronger.
Then the day came where I felt consumed by it.

I felt numb to everything around me. 
I was anxious and tired of this weight in my heart.

I decided to face the music.
I spoke about it, shared how I felt and I let my feelings out.

It hurt. It hurt like hell to let those feelings out.
It was overwhelming at times and it was an intense experience.
But I worked my way through it.

I was able to talk my way, feel my way and cry my way through those emotions.
After a short time I felt lighter, I felt free and I felt relieved of that heavy weight.

I felt wiser, smarter and more in tune with myself. I would even go so far as to say I felt strong. I knew I had learned a valuable lesson and I felt that no matter what came my way, I would be able to face it.

I knew I now had some skills and practise on how to face the music, to stand strong and to deal with life. I still have moments where difficult situations make me feel depressed but I know I have the faith and determination to work my way through them. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

practical tips for your home I am loving right now

home inspiration: practical tips for your home


Store your wrapping paper in plastic bag holders from Ikea found here


CD racks to store tupperware lids found here


For meal planning have the ingredients for each meal of the week in a basket ahead of time found here


Baby's room door muff so you can open and close your baby's door without making a noise found here


Insert a tension rod under your kitchen sink to hang spray bottles on


Use a plastic tackle box with multiple sizes of openings to hold your batteries, grouped by size found here.


Add a lego shelf to the kids room to show off those wonderful creations found here

Use ice-cube trays to store jewellery found here


Make a cute lost and found laundry collector for those lost socks found here

Hope you enjoyed them and can try them out in your home!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

living the dream


I love to dream big, to set impossible goals and to then work hard to achieve them. I feel incredibly blessed in my life as I have already achieved most of my personal dreams and goals I set for myself. Not too many people can say they are living the dream life they have always wanted but that is how I feel about my life. I am a stay at home mum, who gets to write and to talk about motherhood as much as I want here on my blog. Living the dream here. 

I am easily pleased, what can I say!

As most of you know I adore my books and I recently started reading 'Dare, Dream, Do' by Whitney Johnson. According to Whitney, remarkable things happen when you dare to dream. I don't know if I consider my life to be remarkable by any means but I love the lessons I have learned along the way and the crazy person I have become in the process.

I started reading Whitney's book and immediately decided to take a blog break to study it, to devour it and dream a little bigger. I read story after story included in the book of what dreams and goals other women have achieved and pondered deeply over why as women we give up on our dreams and don't even dare to dream at all.

I spent time thinking of new blog goals and projects, I thought of starting a business, I thought of writing books, I thought constantly of starting a project outside of my home and of entering the work force. I let my mind wander over ideas and possibilities that would take me out of my home and away from away my family. As I pondered and wondered and dreamed and tried to dream bigger dreams I ended up having a surprising outcome.

It became clear to me that I am already living my dream, right now, this moment, this day and this year and that I am happy doing so. I have no more real blog goals and dreams, I simply love to write and share and I am happy with small opportunities that come my way. I have learned business skills and I use them in my home and on my blog already. I have a blog where if I want to write a book, I can and I can do it in my own time, my own way and simply sell it as an ebook. I can give it away if I want, I can be in control and I can do it according to how I want. 

Basically, I love that I can spend my day how I want, I can develop skills and talents according to my own schedule and can help and serve and fit my desires around my family. 

Sure there are parts of my dream life I am living that are not so nice such as all the housework and arguing that can often happen in our home, but being a mother is my dream. It is my chosen career and it is my dream life. I am so, so grateful that I am one and that I can be at home with my cherubs. 

I love that each day I can try to be a little better as a mother and that I can keep my mind active with writing. I can build stronger relationships with my cherubs and connect with other women and love my family a little more each day. 

I loved reading Whitney's book and for the reminder that I am already living my dream life. I am looking forward to what new opportunities may come my way and to writing more about motherhood in the future.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mum, what did you do all day....nothing?


Keeping a house clean every day can be extremely depressing. It is often monotonous work and becomes even more so when you have a family who does not appreciate or notice what you do each day. With a house full of many cherubs there is always a lot of work that needs to be done and even though my kids help me out, they still don't realise just how much work around the house I actually do. 

A lot of the work I do happens when they are asleep so I really can't expect them to be thankful when they have no idea what I have been up to! But Hey! They are kids...they simply don't notice everything that is going on around our house when they spend so much time playing and having fun. I want them to have fun, I want them to play but I also want them to appreciate what I do. 

Lucky for me, we had a little lesson is appreciating Mum recently and I don't think it is a lesson that will be forgotten! A couple of weeks ago as we came home from school, walked in the front door, a certain child walked up to me and asked... 

"Mum, so what did YOU do today?"

Before I could answer, the said child proceeded to look around the house and announce...

"Looks like nothing!'

I smiled to myself and decided this was the perfect moment to explain exactly what I did do during the day. 

We went off to the bedroom to have a little chat and I informed the said child that tomorrow Mum would be taking the day off from doing all of her jobs. Then I explained that waiting for the said child would be a list of jobs on their pillow of all the things that I did not get to do during the day. 

The timing all worked out wonderfully for me as I had a Mother's Day event at the school and then went off to watch another child run in the District Cross Country Race. By the time I went to pick my cherubs up from school I had been out all day and had done none of my normal jobs around the house. 

When we arrived home my cherubs asked where the afternoon snack was. I simply informed them I was taking the day off and they had to find one themselves. Insert stunned silence! Then I took the said child into the bedroom and shared with them the list waiting for them.

Job items on my list included: the dishes, sweeping, washing and putting away clothes, vacuuming, cooking dinner, tidying each room, mop the floors, clean the toilets and food shopping to name a few.

I then asked the said child to take over doing my list as I was taking the day off. Insert more stunned silence! Unfortunately for me, the said child is a little too young to take over doing all of these jobs on my list but I did let them sit in silence for a while pondering over the magnitude of taking over Mum's list before I informed them that I would be helping out. 

I had a delightful day taking time off from doing my normal jobs around the house and after this little adventure I am thinking it needs to happen more often! Needless to say, I don't think the said child will be asking me what I did during my day and then pronouncing nothing anymore. Since this time I have been receiving a little more appreciation and love and the lesson was totally worth it.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

my lounge room

Home tour: my lounge room


My lounge room is a very simple room. It is a quiet room in our house, meaning we have no television in this room and it is where we talk, read and have our family nights. The first thing you see when you come into this room is this interesting cabinet. I sent Matt off one day to pick out a cabinet to put our television on (when we had one in this room) and he came back with this. When he started drilling holes into the roof I did start to freak out a little! When he hung the television up on the silver poles it looked awesome and I loved it. Now that we don't have the television I don't like it as much but I do love that it is just the right size for our family rules/principles chart.

I do love that this storage cabinet (which we picked up at Ikea) has storage and I store card games and other smaller games in the drawers so that we can easily grab them if we want to have a family game together on the couch. It works well for us and I love that they are out of the way and not seen.


For years we had a smaller couch and it was really hard to read books to the kids on it as there was not enough room for us all and I love that now we have a much larger couch to hang out together on. I picked up this couch brand new for a bargain price on ebay as it was too big for the previous owners but it worked out perfect for us. In the large ottoman I store blankets we can easily pull out if it gets cold.


Our lounge room faces the sun and it gets very hot in this room. I have heavy curtains which I really don't like but they block out the sun for us really well and for now are here to stay. My kids also love that I have displayed their art work in picture frames and it helps to give more of a family feel to the room. 

I currently have this simple white decoration hanging on my wall just because I like it. I feel peaceful when I see it and I love that I picked it up for 50 cents at an op-shop. I change around what I have hanging in this space on a regular basis. Sometimes I hang up a favourite print to inspire us or even a drawing/painting one of the kids has done. 


From a different angle you can see how big our couch is and I just have a fake plant in the room to add a little colour. I don't have a real plant as my kids still get into them and make a mess. Waiting for the day they can leave such things alone! 


On the other side of the couch we have a small space which is our music spot. We have the keyboard and guitar that Matt plays and the kids normally do music practise here as well. I painted this wall bright blue as I wanted some colour in my lounge and it is my favourite colour. When I show you the next part of the lounge area it will make more sense. I love this large flower print and I made the smaller sign on the other wall.  


To make this smaller sign I simply followed the same instructions for the family rules chart. I was easy and did not take very long to make at all. As you can see it is a very simple room and I have not gone all out on the decorating. I like to keep it simple and not too expensive. It works well for us and we love spending time in this room. Hope you enjoyed having a look and if you are interested you can check out my entrance way as well.