Sunday, 1 May 2016

Us Right Now

Sunday, May 1st us right now If you've been a reader here for awhile, you know that at the start of each month, I take a family photo of everyone together, and individually. If we've got visitors here (usually my mum), I include them, and every few months I convince Chloe to send me a photo too. It's a way of capturing photos of everyone regularly, and sharing snippets of their right now. If you're happy sharing photos of everyone, great, but if not, maybe get creative with the photo you take - a photo from behind, or shoe photos can still share your right now.
we are all in need of a camping weekend

but it will be awhile before we can do it, our camp trailer needs some repairs

we are all in need of new runners

we'll be shopping this week
he got some news at work on Friday

he'll be moving back to night shift from June

he's been helping his sister with some yard work

and loving the chance to take Douglas with him
she has opted not to go to ProBlogger this year

but is heading away for a craft retreat in June

she is finding time to read books again

and always looking for more recommendations
he has taken over cooking dinner on Friday nights

but needs to remember to start earlier

he got good reports from teachers at parent teacher interviews

just needs to remember to make some better choices
she is excelling at all her school lessons

but needs to do her homework and return it to school

she is devouring all the books on the shelf

{her teacher has promised a prize for those who read the most}
his best subject at school is maths

{in a maths-confused family}

he needs to become more organised

he often forgets to return homework and library books
she doesn't cry when I drop her at daycare

and even spoke to her teacher last week

she is a threenager in the making

{the tantrums are endless some days!}

What's happening in your right now?

{you're welcome to link up any post you have written today}

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Friday, 29 April 2016

Blog Every Day in May

Twelve months ago, I randomly decided late one evening, as I sat on the couch avoiding another sleepless night in an empty bed, that I was going to write a blog post every day during the month of May. Setting goals like these are always random ideas for me, and I often fail. (Mind you, I'm not much better when I plan, either)

But here we are, almost facing May again, and I'm going to have another go at posting every day.

Every good blogging challenge needs good prompts. After poking around pinterest and checking out other prompt lists, I decided that I was going to completely throw them out the window, and just make up my own again. (You can see last year's list here) The prompts slightly align with the normal themes of my blog, but that leaves lots of space for interpretation by others, so if you see a topic you're interested in, please have a go at writing a post!

Sunday, May 1st us right now If you've been a reader here for awhile, you know that at the start of each month, I take a family photo of everyone together, and individually. If we've got visitors here (usually my mum), I include them, and every few months I convince Chloe to send me a photo too. It's a way of capturing photos of everyone regularly, and sharing snippets of their right now. If you're happy sharing photos of everyone, great, but if not, maybe get creative with the photo you take - a photo from behind, or shoe photos can still share your right now.
Monday, May 2nd hello Monday - 4 goals for the month I started saying hello to Monday, as a way of embracing the good of the week, rather than focusing on Monday being bad. This month, I want to try setting simple, achievable goals for the month.
Tuesday, May 3rd learn something new every day I'm a big believer in the power of learning. One of my biggest strengths is being a life long learner (although I'll be honest and say I rarely finish classes that I take) What have you learnt recently, that you didn't expect to learn?
Wednesday, May 4th behind the scenes - what isn't instagramable? So much of social media is sharing the highlight reel. Today, I want you to share a photo (and the story behind it) that isn't perfect.
Thursday, May 5th one tip What one thing did you change that had a bigger impact than you expected?
Friday, May 6th 5 on Friday - places on your bucket list to visit Would you visit other countries, or explore more of your own backyard?
Saturday, May 7th book review Tell us about a book you've read recently. Would you recommend it to others?
Sunday, May 8th self-care for you It's Mother's Day in Australia. How do you take time out from the world to look after yourself?
Monday, May 9th hello Monday Tell us five things you're looking forward to this week.
Tuesday, May 10th what's in your handbag? Do you carry all the dinosaurs from the toybox, or spare socks? What weird things are buried in the bottom of your handbag?
Wednesday, May 11th day in the life Share 5 photos from one day of your week. If you joined in last year, has anything changed, or is everything the same?
Thursday, May 12th dear Chloe Chloe is 18 today. I'm going to write my annual letter to her, but I'm challenging you to write a letter to your 18 year old self.
Friday, May 13th are you superstitious? If you break a mirror, do you end up with 7 years bad luck? Have you ever walked under a ladder? Do you believe, or not?
Saturday, May 14th something I read online as I scroll through my facebook and pinterest feeds, I read hundreds of articles every week. You probably do, too. Share ten links to things you've read this past week, and tell us why they caught your eye.
Sunday, May 15th me in other places - hangouts We all have places around the internet that we like to "hangout" Tell us about the facebook groups that you enjoy spending time in.
Monday, May 16th hello Monday - share a recap of your weekend did you spend the weekend at home, or away? Was it too busy, or the perfect relaxing weekend?
Tuesday, May 17th from the archives If you've been blogging a long time, like I have, you probably don't look at your archives very often, but today I want you to dig deep, and share an update on something from the past. Make sure your post includes a link to the original, so we can check it out!
Wednesday, May 18th what's on your work desk? Creative projects? Unfinished projects? A mess that needs to be sorted? Tell us what you're working on this week.
Thursday, May 19th what a difference What do you do differently to someone else? Or what do you do differently with lots of kids compared to 1?
Friday, May 20th baking mad I'm always on the hunt for new recipes to bake. Have you got a favourite cake or muffin recipe to share?
Saturday, May 21st blogs worth reading I'm of the "blogs are here to stay" camp, someone will always want to read someone else's story. What blogs have you been loving lately?
Sunday, May 22nd someone said something Inspirational quotes are the quick fodder of social media, but are they really inspirational? What quotes have been inspiring you lately?
Monday, May 23rd hello Monday Tell us 5 things you're looking forward to this week
Tuesday, May 24th words have power What stories do you tell yourself that you should stop? How could you change that story?
Wednesday, May 25th behind the scenes - house tour Do houses really look like magazine spreads? Have you got a room that really needs a bit more love, or a project that is still waiting to be finished?
Thursday, May 26th one question What one thing do you want to change, but you're not sure where to start?
Friday, May 27th 5 shows worth binge watching if time was no issue, what shows would you want to watch all episodes of in one sitting? Have you ever binge-watched a show? Was it worth it?
Saturday, May 28th book report How many books have you read this month? Tell us the titles (and a mini review if you want.) I'm always on the hunt for new books to read!
Sunday, May 29th me in other places - social media Technology has changed so much in my lifetime, but social media has exploded just in the last ten years. Share the places other than your blog that you have a profile, and tell us which one you like the most.
Monday, May 30th hello Monday -  results from 4 simple goals Back on day 2 we set some simple goals for the month. Now the month is over, how did you go? Share your results, so we can celebrate with you.

Life Behind The Purple Door
Free prompt printable available (no sign up needed)

Phew! That was a huge list to put together! If you'd like to join me on this crazy journey, I'd love to visit your blog and read! Daily link ups will be open each morning from 6am AEST for 48 hours.

I hope you can join me in May!
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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Euky Bear Blitz Nitz Review

This is a sponsored post from Digital Parents Collective and Euky Bear Australia
I don't think it's possible to have kids, and never get nits. Especially having multiple kids from two families - one gets 'em, they all get 'em! And if you don't finish the full course of treatment, before you know it, someone is infested again, and scratching madly, so you start scratching madly!

I prefer to use the natural solutions available from the chemist with so many young itchy heads to treat. I have been known to spend up to 45 minutes comparing packets on the shelf, and ask hundreds of questions of busy staff. But I always come home with a product that is clinically proven, because I know it's been tested and works.

So when I was sent a bottle of the Euky Bear Blitz Nitz Spray & Go and the very next day saw the Blitz Nitz Solution on the shelf, I knew I had to grab it and try it out, in the name of a full and fair review. (You can also buy a 10 minute Mousse treatment, as well as combs and shampoo.)
I tried the Spray & Go treatment on me - I love the lingering scent of eucalyptus and tea tree oils, but the kids (and Steve) often complain the smell is overpowering so the 5 minute wonder of the solution was perfect to use on them. They didn't even have time to play the free app you can download, by the time everyone had a head full of solution it was time to start washing them off!

Most nit products recommend retreating after 7 days, but I have found over the years that 8 days is better (eggs hatch in 7 days, so if you treat before they hatch, you have adults the next day) These Euky Bear products are suitable from 2 years of age (if, like me, you have little ones who have accidentally been infested, coconut oil works well, and a gentle cradle cap comb.) 

Products are for external use only. Always read the label. Use only as directed.

I have three (3) bottles of Euky Bear Blitz Nitz Spray&Go to give away. 
To enter, please head to my facebook page, and leave a comment on the pinned post, answering this question "how old were your children the first time they got nits?"
Competition opens on publication of this post, and closes on Friday May 6th at 4.59pm AEST
1 prize per winner will be awarded
You must be easily contactable for me to notify you if you win.
Competition is in no way endorsed by facebook. 
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Self Care Tips for Uni Students

Hello again! I’m back with some tips for university students (and young adults alike!!). Because we all know that as soon as you move out your life shifts dramatically and sometimes you just need a little helping hand.

1. Don’t go out and buy all of your textbooks first hand. Okay so this is kind of a given but text books are so expensive. I had a little bit of a difficulty getting my textbooks second hand since I’m an English major and most people like to hold onto books they’ve read but I found a fair few of mine second hand and instead of it costing my $400+ for my first semester it rounded out at $162.

2. Don’t spend all of your weekly/fortnightly/monthly pay on entertainment. I mean entertainment in every form of this. From alcohol to going out to the movies and even including dinner at a nice place (or out to dinner generally!!) I see a lot of people who blow their budgets on alcohol/going out a lot and then they reach the end of their money and realise they can’t afford to buy food for the week/month/fortnight.

3. Top up your meal cards. I live on-campus with meals not included in our fortnightly rent (which is awful). If you are in the same position that your meals aren’t included you should make sure there is money on that card. I know that there are points in the week where I give up on cooking food and want some cheap and easy. The meals where I am are $6 so it isn’t a huge deal and it’s nice every now and again to not cook and also not spend $20 on a meal.

4. Try and work out your time management. I find that most weeks I struggle to have enough hours in my days to get things done. Between class, personal life, friends, family and all of the other nitty gritty things I find myself running short on time. I have, however, found that if you write yourself up a plan for doing things each week that you are more likely to get them done. At the start of each week I write myself a sticky note with things to get done and tick them off day-by-day. This is also a really good trick if, like me, you have anxiety and think you’re accomplishing nothing. Even menial tasks like getting out of bed and brushing your teeth everyday can make you feel like you have accomplished something.

5. Take some time out for yourself. Once a week, or fortnight, I like to set some time out for myself and do something special. Recently I came back from a camping trip on Bruny Island, thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it, and that was my “me time” for the fortnight. Some weeks I will take such a long shower that I steam up the bathroom mirrors. Do things that make yourself feel well-rested and relaxed, and take your time with them.

6. Get into some form of exercise. With my schedule as school-oriented as it is I find myself sitting down a lot and not moving as much as I should. I break my days up with a half-hour to an hour of yoga. Normally a half-hour in the morning and a half-hour at night but this depends a lot on how early my classes start. I have other friends who go jogging down the beach or will go to our on-campus gym but I highly recommend getting out and getting active for at least a half hour a day.

7. Eat healthy and drink water. I know, it’s tempting to eat all the terrible foods you were never allowed in the house when you were a kid. I know that you just want to binge but oh my god is it important not to. For the first couple of days living in my own “place” (so loosely termed there) I ate terribly. Honestly I slipped back into my stress eating days which is never good. Now I eat fruit everyday and drinking plenty of water (which is great if you want to regulate your body!!)

8. Don’t forget your friends and family. This can be a hard one when you seem to always be busy but remember that the people that surround you are always there for you. I struggle with this one sometimes because I like to keep to myself, to a certain extent, and find that sometimes my room is more comfortable then any sort of social situation. But it’s healthy to see people and get out there.

I’ll see you all next time.
Chloe, xo.

linking up with Essentially Jess
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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Why I'm ok with a male daycare leader

Sophie has been at daycare for a few months now. She's finally starting to participate in activities unguided, and interacts with the other kids each day (and she doesn't cry when I drop her off!), and it's all because of the love and care she gets from her teachers.
While her female leader has started working at the centre since Riley left, Dan was a floating assistant, so he's been around for a couple of years.

In typical two-year-old style, when Sophie is telling me who she loves, Dan is always on her list. He's made a real impact on her, and she's eager to say hi to him when we arrive each day.

But it occurred to me recently that it isn't usual to see men in a childcare environment. So I wanted to share with you the reasons why I'm ok with having a male leader at daycare.

1 she will learn that it is safe to be around men who aren't family members. I absolutely believe this is the most crucial reason. We teach our children "stranger danger", but statistics show time and time again that it is the people closest to our children who hurt them. But I don't want her to spend her life being scared of the people around her. I want her to learn that people can be close and safe, even if it isn't dad.

2 she will learn how men who aren't family members can treat her. I know that working in childcare is learned through study, but concern for another's well being, even if they're only two, is hard to fake long term.

3 she will learn to have fun with men. I grew up in a fairly sheltered household where I didn't really have interactions with men who weren't family members. So I hit my teens and twenties with a slightly cock-eyed view of relationships, always reading more into them than was really there. Being able to have fun with men who expect nothing from her is an important part of teaching her self-worth. (yes, she's two, I know this one sounds slightly weird. But I also know that our primary school has at least 3 male teachers across the years, so it's an important lesson to note now.)

4 she will learn men can nurture just as well as women Like I noted earlier, men in a childcare situation is rare. But while it's expected of women to nurture their young, the same expectation doesn't exist of men. If she's exposed to men nurturing as part of her normal world, she'll expect it, and support it as she grows.

And Sophie isn't the only one learning these lessons, our whole family will take these ideas on board without even realising that they've learnt something, because it is just a normal part of our lives.
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