6 tips to avoid rushed chaos in the morning. 

Hi friends!

In today’s post I want to share some great tips to make your mornings less frantic. A big question I am often asked is how I get out the door on time in the mornings… LuLu has kindy 5 days a fortnight and this term + 1 morning of pre-prep, so lots on for us! So these are the things that work for us…

  • Preparation is the key to success. It truly is! Like the saying “those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail” goes – I truly believe being organised early as possible is how to be successful. The evening before we pack the lunch box, fill the water bottle and set out her bag – making sure it is packed with everything she needs for the following day – excursion/free dress day money, notes are signed and in bag etc… I also lay out her kindy clothes. Making a small effort in the evening means less stress in the morning.
  • Get sleep! Having a good nights sleep makes you more productive in the morning and well rested kids are easier to deal with!
  • Wake up at a reasonable hour. This should be a no brainer. I tend to be up around 6am’ish. This allows us time to calmly get through our morning routine.
  • Get things done as early as possible. As soon as we are done with breakfast I am busy, I put laundry on, LuLu knows to brush her teeth & get dressed, I go and get myself ready for the day and then I dress Tommy and do LuLu’s hair. Usually we then have some time to chill out in the playroom before going to kindy.
  • Set age appropriate jobs for your kids. LuLu knows to put her breakfast bowl in the sink, she often goes out to take the dogs coats off and she brushes her teeth and gets dressed on her own.  This helps me in the morning, while she is doing those tasks I can be doing others.
  • Know your time frames. Know how long it takes to get to the school and know when you have to be out the door, we like to get to kindy a few minutes early so we can chat to the teacher or other parents and calmly see LuLu off… I feel this sets her up for a good day as her morning has been calm and not flustered.

Our morning routine on a kindy day is fairly straight forward, I find having good routines with young children really is beneficial for them. They know what to expect and it isn’t chaos for them…
If you would like to see a kindy morning/day in action please check out my latest video HERE… 
But this is a basic look at how an average/ideal morning runs for us…

6am’ish I wake up with Tommy, LuLu occasionally will be awake at the same time or may wake a little later…
6:15am Unpack dishwasher and start organising breakfasts. The kids enjoy cereal and I have toast and a cup of tea.
6:45am LuLu is usually awake by now and having breakfast or our breakfast is done for the day. I tidy the kitchen, put away the toaster and wipe down the benches and if I need to get meat out of the freezer for dinner, I do it now.
7am I put the laundry on and make my bed.
7:05am I do my hair and makeup and get ready for the day. While I do this LuLu cleans her teeth and gets dressed for the day. I usually straighten her bed for her and then she sets up her snuggle toys neatly.
7:30am I dress Tommy.
7:35am I do LuLu’s hair, sometimes it is just a pony tail, other days she likes more detailed styles…
7:50am I may do a quick vacuum or some light cleaning while the kids play in the playroom.
8am I hang the laundry on the line.
8:10am We hang out in the playroom.
8:30am’ish We leave for kindy.

And that is a very rough guide to our morning. Some days flow smoothly and occasionally we have rushed mornings, but we all really dislike those so we strive to have calm and organised mornings.
How do your mornings go before kindy/school? What is your biggest tip for having a successful morning? I would love to know, comment below or on my social media!

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House updates & our feelings on building with GJ Gardner Homes.

Family Camping in Australia. (11).jpg

Hey friends,

House update time!! We are down to the final stage now, we are so close to having the keys I am literally dying of excitement… I can tell you now this week is going to drag on so long!
For our latest HOUSE UPDATE VIDEO click HERE <- in that video you can see our lighting and flooring choices as well as the exterior paint.

This week the house had painting touch ups, electricity was turned on, it was cleaned inside and out (it looks amazing!!) and Trent has been busy working on the shed and side fence… Post holes were dug for the front fence as well on Friday… Trent has been working tirelessly for us, he is so wonderful. Today he was there again doing fencing and I even got in and did a bit today! Tomorrow we will be back there cleaning up the block and finishing off the side fence.


We are slowly moving somethings into the shed, we bought some new storage shelves to store our seasonal items (christmas/easter/halloween decor, baby clothes etc) 
Our plan with the house is to be very strict with what comes in… I want to declutter as much as we can, what we don’t need or love is going to be put aside to be sold at a garage sale, which I hope to have in September… I don’t want every cupboard and drawer full of things, I want some empty cupboards, shelves and drawers!
This house is so special and beautiful to us, I only want it full of things we truly love. What we don’t need is going!

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Sneak peek at one of my linen cupboards, this is my walk in one!

So the next week is set to be a big one for us!!

How this week should play out is…
Monday – Security screens and doors get installed I think on this day -or maybe Tuesday… The skip bin is removed & I think our new fridge arrives… I don’t think I’ve told you all about this, but we are getting a new fridge and it is so beautiful – it sparkles!! Trent will be off to Toowoomba to get front fence supplies. (On this day we also have gymnastics, a committee meeting & hopefully I can fit in yoga! This is also our wedding anniversary) 
Tuesday – Front fence will be started and the final inspection is booked. This is where we go through & make sure we are happy with the finished product and check everything works etc.
Wednesday – I guess if any repairs need to be made they are done here… (Kindy day!)
Thursday – HOPEFULLY we get the keys on this day, pending the bank gets everything done in time as they are notorious for holding up handovers! So fingers are crossed this is the day we get our keys… If not I think it maybe Monday, so let’s hope it is Thursday! (On this day we have LuLu’s pre-prep morning class, than a meeting with her new principal!) 
Friday – Hopefully we get to move some stuff in, if not we will be moving stuff to the shed. (On this day LuLu has kindy and I also have another committee meeting in the morning!) 

This feels like a long time coming, but really our build has been done very quickly and that’s a credit to our builders, they are efficient and do things so well. (We started in March and finished end of July, that is incredibly fast!)
I can’t speak highly enough of the entire GJ Gardner Homes Dalby/Chinchilla team, they have made this process so smooth and pleasant. They are knowledgable, friendly, easy to work with & nothing I asked was too hard (or silly in some cases!)
Even when we’ve had minor hiccups, which really only happened towards the end, they were so easy to work with. I know a lot of companies try to spin the blame back to the customer, I have heard so many “bad builder” stories, but GJ have been outstanding, they got to the bottom of the issues and solved them so quickly… (None were the fault of the builders either, just ordering mishaps from suppliers/miscommunications etc) 
So if you are a Dalby/Chinchilla area local I highly recommend GJ Gardner Homes to build with… Chris, Chelsea & Kelsey are so helpful and are just genuinely really wonderful people!

Gosh I am so excited for key handover, it feels like it’s the lead up to Christmas!!
This will be my last blog post/video update on the house now until we show off the finished product. We are so in love with it and can’t wait to be living there!
If you would like to see more updates, please check out my social media as I can’t help but regularly post photos of it on there!

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Chocolate Eclairs Recipe.

Hi friends,

The other day I posted this photo…

chocolate eclairs modernwifelife31

And I was instantly flooded with requests for the recipe for these eclairs…
A dear friend of mine (who now lives in Kansas) her Mumma makes these, I have eaten them many times since knowing these wonderful friends….
So I asked Shar if I could share her recipe & and she thankfully said I could share it with you all… So here it is…

bake bread

“Shaza’s kiwi chocolate eclairs”

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Whipped cream for filling
  • A block (or 2) of cadbury chocolate for topping

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Place butter and water in saucepan and heat.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil – remove quickly and add flour.
  4. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
  7. Mix until mixture is glossy.
  8. Using 2 spoons distribute mixture onto lined trays. (Or pipe 7cm strips)
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until eclairs are puffy & golden.
  10. Lower heat to 120 degrees C and bake for another 15 minutes until dry.
  11. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  12. Prepare whipped cream to your liking (I add icing sugar & vanilla)
  13. Melt chocolate using your preferred method. I use my thermomix, but microwave or stovetop also works great. I just use regularly cadbury block chocolate, I used one block for my batch but I feel I should’ve used another 1/2 a block.
  14. Using a sharp knife, cut eclairs in half but leaving top attached.
  15. Fill with whipped cream and then dip top into melted chocolate. (Or spoon melted chocolate over the eclairs)
  16. Set aside for chocolate to set.
  17. Eat & enjoy. (store eclairs in the fridge)

I filmed myself making these for the firs time, in my recent “clean with me” video, you can CLICK HERE to watch that. (They are easy to make, a tiny bit fiddly – but you can see in the video how easy it is!)

If you try this recipe I would love to see/hear how they turn out for you, send me a photo on social media!

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Prayers & blessings for our new home.

When our home was at frame stage the day before it was due to be gyprocked/sheeted we went and had a picnic dinner (it was actually on Mother’s Day) and I wrote scriptures, prayers and blessings on the frame work.
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This was something small but special to us. We know on our foundation are words of truth and love, even though they are not visible we know they are there and we like to believe our home will be better because of it. I have been asked a few times by a few ladies to share what we wrote, so please find the list (sorted by room) below…

Prayers & blessings for our home…

Entry.

  • You will blessed when you go in and blessed when you got out. Deuteronomy 28:6
  • But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
  • Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Jeremiah 29:5
  • The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.
    Numbers 6:24-25
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Kitchen/Pantry/ Dining.

  • Taste and see the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
  • Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers. For by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrew 13:2
  • Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
  • They broke bread together and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46
  • Bless the food before us, the family beside us and the love between us. Amen.
  • Deuteronomy 8:3 is another nice verse, which I didn’t use but I feel it could be used.

Living room & foundation/frame work.

  • By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4
  • Love one another as I have loved you. John 13:34
  • For no one lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 3:11
  • Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builder is wasted. Psalm 127:1
  • Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt. So that you may know how to answer everyone. Col 4:6
  • “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
  • The Lord will fight for you, you need to be still. Exodus 14:14
  • For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Hebrews 3:4

Our bedroom.

  • Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. 1 Cor 13:4-7
  • Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Col 3:18
  • Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Cold 3:19
  • We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
  • Be completely humble & gentle, be patient bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
  • I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Songs 6:3
  • I found the one my heart loves. Songs 3:4
  • Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour. If either falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one maybe over powered, two can defend themselves. A cord of 3 strands is not quickly broken. Ecc 4:9-12
  • You could also write your wedding vows.
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Kids’ bedrooms.

  • Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. But set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
  • When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24
  • Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring is a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3
  • The lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves you. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3:17
  • I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
  • I prayed for this child and Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27
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We included the kids in this process and they were able to draw in their rooms, LuLu wrote both of their names and Tommy did a little scribble.
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Daughter’s bedroom.

  • She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom. Proverbs 31:25
  • You are altogether beautiful my darling, there is no flaw in you. Songs 4:7
  • Keep shining beautiful one, the world needs your light.
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Son’s bedroom.

  • Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
  • My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong you life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love & faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4
  • And she loved a little boy, very, very much. Even more than she loved herself.
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Playroom/rumpus.

  • Finally, all of you be like-minded, be sympathetic, love another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
  • I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
    3 John 4
  • Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Col 3:20

Bathrooms.

  • Give us clean hands & pure hearts. Psalm 24:4

Closets.

  • And over all these virtues put on love, which binds the all in perfect unity. Col 3:14
  • Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you maybe able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand, stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. Pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers & requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:13-18
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Laundry.

  • Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as for the Lord and not for men.
    Col 3:25

Office/study.

  • “In all your ways submit to Him He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:6
  • Jesus looked at them and said “with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Prayers for the new house & little blessings/quotes.
(I wrote these around the entry way/hallway – a spot we will walk by countless times each day.)

  • New home, new adventure, new memories.
  • Dear Lord, may this home be a place of joy, health, laughter and love. A place of happiness & contentment, of generosity and faith. A place of kindness & support, of day dreams and hard work, of memories made & traditions begun. May those who live and visit here know only blessings, peace & love. Amen.
  • Home; where family gathers, friends meet & roots grow.
  • Home; A story of who we are. A collections of things we love.
  • A house is made of walls & beams, a home is built with love & dreams.
  • May your walls know joy; may every room hold laughter & every window open to great possibility.

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I hope you found this list helpful & encouraging. This was something so special to us and I am so thankful to a sweet friend who suggested we do this. I chose these verses & quotes just because when I was researching what to include, these are the ones that jumped out to me. Your choice of scripture maybe totally different to mine and that is ok.
(For a house update video CLICK HERE)

img_1352 Have a beautiful day.

TIPS for saving. {money talk}

Hey friends,

An often requested blog for me to write is about our budget/who handles our finances/how we save etc.
Firstly Trent handles our finances & basically anything to do with money, insurances, accounts etc. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I am not gifted mathematically or in the way of understanding any of that sort of stuff. No matter how hard I try. I feel more comfortable with him being in control of all of it, I can still access and see it all – but honestly it makes little sense to me. I try really hard to understand it but I just struggle with it. He pays all of our bills and organises our budget.
As for our budget, we know what bills we need to pay and have that money set aside and then our grocery money (which can be anywhere from $150-$250 a week… We eat a lot of fresh fruit, enjoy good quality meat, Tommy is still in nappies and that includes pet food/litter) and we also deposit an amount into savings. I won’t share our exact amounts, but we strive to save when and where we can. Any cash that we have at the end of the week or we make by selling items on buy, swap & sells is put into my little savings jar that I deposit into the bank and that goes towards extra things we maybe saving for like holidays, items for the new house, gifts etc. I did a whole post on selling items to make a bit of extra money, you can CLICK HERE to read that. (Oddly enough, that post of all posts went “viral”…)

A few great ways we save money are…

  • I make most of my own cleaners. And use white vinegar & bicarb to clean most things. Occasionally I will splurge and buy some cleaning products (I love Method) but for most things, I make my own. (I do like to buy furniture polish & glass cleaner)
  • I also make my own laundry powder, that recipe can be found HERE.
  • I buy generic brands where it suits us. Now I still buy brand name items for most things, but for a few things I tend to look for cheaper alternatives. It often is a bit of trial & error to find a cheaper brand of something that suits your taste. I buy store brand sugar, flours, pasta, butter for cooking, bleach for cleaning etc… The dishwasher tablets from Aldi are also very cheap & work great. (Our town is getting an Aldi soon, so I think I may try shopping there as well)
  • I bake our treats. I do sometimes buy us something for the week from the store, but 90% of the time I prefer to bake some biscuits or a cake for morning/afternoon teas for the week. I choose what to bake depending on what I have, what I need to use up or just what we feel like and I feel better giving LuLu a sweet treat when I know exactly what is in it.
  • Trent does all of our “jobs” around the house. We don’t need to outsource anything to tradies or the such because he is skilled and knowledgable to do it. I find this so helpful and I feel it saves us a lot of money. He does everything from fix his own work ute, he will be building the fences for the new house, constructing the kids play area and if anything is ever broken or needs to be done he knows how to do it… We are yet to ever need to “call someone”.
  • We don’t eat a lot of take away or drink a lot of alcohol. We do eat out (or have take away) but it is not in excess and both of us do not drink a lot of alcohol.
  • We very rarely buy soft drink. Huge saving in the groceries is cutting that out.
  • Writing a shopping list of exactly what you need and only buying those items is a great way to stay on track with the groceries.
  • Adding up your groceries on your phone calculator as you buy each item is another good way to be aware of what you are spending, that way you know if you are going over budget.
  • Shop around for the best deal and go with what works for you. Do not be afraid of calling around other stores if you are making a big purchase and getting the lowest price possible.
  • Reassess your phone/internet/electricity/health insurance plans if possible. Call up ask for a better deal, rework them to suit your current situation better or call other companies to compare. (We need to do this for our health insurance, because holy that’s an expensive one!)
  • Sell unwanted/unused items on buy, swap & sell sites.
  • Be sensible, that’s a huge one. Do not spend what you don’t have. Live within your means.

And on that note, I have a new HAUL video on YouTube CLICK HERE to watch it. It’s a small haul from a little shopping day the other day. I made a conscious decision to not go over board at the shops. It is easy to do when we go to the big shopping centre in Toowoomba, Dalby only has a small variety of stores and when you are in a big centre you see so many things you want, but staying focused on what you need is important. I did buy a few fun items for the kids to put away as gifts but it was all well within the spending budget for that day. (Trent did tell me to go buy something for myself, but I decided I wanted to save it to go towards something when we finally are in the house.)

I would love to hear your tips for saving money. Please leave them as a comment below or comment on my social media…

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Clean with me {video & tips}

Hey friends!
Today I have a ‘clean with me” video for you all. Click HERE to watch it! 

This video was filmed on a busy day for us. I had a few jobs I wanted to get done but also had “life” to just get on with… I find on those days the best way to get my “have to do” jobs done is just that, get them done as soon as I can. Don’t put them off, just tackle them first up.
I wanted to wipe down my kitchen sink and my bathrooms, so I made sure to do that before heading out for the day.
I do often get asked “how do I stay on top of housework?”
I do it every single day, my house is usually fairly clean because I clean it continually. I find procrastinating and delaying getting jobs done is a huge problem, the longer you leave it the more it drags out and then you are totally overwhelmed because a simple task has suddenly become a mammoth job.
My basic daily clean roughly consists of wiping down my kitchen benches & table, making the beds, doing a load of laundry (drying, folding & putting it away as well), picking up around the house, running, unpacking & reloading the dishwasher and a quick vacuum. But those are my bare minimum jobs I have to do daily or I feel like I cannot function. Every other day I normally wipe down the bathrooms, run the duster over, mop and pick up around the house… I find lightly doing these jobs regularly makes “deep cleaning” those areas so much quicker. I will polish the furniture every week – week & a half & beds are washed weekly.
I clean as I go in my kitchen when I am cooking and I find that makes the end clean up so much easier. My shower is wiped down after every use and that helps tremendously with keeping it cleaning.
I hope these few quick insights on how I do things has helped you or given you 1 or 2 ideas to implement in your home. Cleaning doesn’t have to be some huge drawn out task that takes all day.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend. If you have any other cleaning related questions  (or just general questions) please comment below or on my social media and I can answer them in a future post.

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New home cabinetry reveal {VIDEO}

Family Camping in Australia. (3)
Hey friends,
Today’s post is another build update, this past week our cabinetry has been installed in our kitchen, butlers pantry, laundry & bathrooms.
I made sure to film it so you all could see! I am absolutely in love with it all, especially my kitchen, laundry and pantry!
So if you would like to watch the video CLICK HERE! 

Our tiles have also started turning up and you can see a sneak peek of some of them in the video, but my exciting ones are yet to arrive! Everything is happening so quickly and it’s all very exciting! I think at the start of next month the tiles go in and the lighting goes in… I believe around the middle of this month painting is due to start, we’ve got our exterior colours sorted and interior trim colour but I’m stuck on the perfect wall colour for us! Hoping that will be decided this week!

Well friends I hope you enjoyed this little house update, I love sharing this journey with you all! I cannot wait to share it when it is fully done…
Have a lovely weekend!
(If you missed my last house update, CLICK HERE)

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