Life update {VIDEO}

Hey friends,

So let’s catch up a bit… My mind has been in a bit of an inspiration funk lately – I just am stuck with what sort of content to put out. But I’m here, working away – I’ve updated my website and just sometimes staring at a blank laptop trying to think up words to string together…
So – I sat down and made a video to chat to you all. You can watch it HERE.
I do apologise, it’s a touch rambley and Mr Tom tries to be the camera man at one point… But hey – it’s a video…
So friends, have a lovely weekend and please feel free to connect with me and suggest any content you would like to see!

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Sunday series; my latest playlist additions.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1

Hey friends,
Happy Sunday…
One of the most common questions I get asked is what is on my playlist. Random right, but I like that question.
Back in grade 12 I use to dream of being a music journalist or a photographer at festivals like Big Day Out. (I was given THIS book by my cousin one year and I love it, I often flip through it with major FOMO because I never made it to one)
I love listening to music and if I don’t have the kids in the car, my songs are normally played at full volume… If the kids are in the car, I still listen to my music (ain’t no children’s songs in my car) but at a more eardrum friendly level, and we all sing along (LuLu loves ‘The Outback Club’ by Lee Kernaghan) 

Anyway, as I was saying… I often get asked about what I am listening to and when I found this new artist I HAD to share him with you all.
Now the sounds I like are basically any American country (American country radio stations play 24/7 in our house) with some christian music thrown in, The Zac Brown Band being my favourite band for at least the last 8-9 years, but any country music I normally like… (And I’ll always love me some T-Swift, I’ve been a Swiftie since before there were Swifties.)
I am always on the look out for new music and I often buy a few songs here and there to update my playlist, but it’s pretty rare that I ever buy a full album. But I bought this guys entire album!
Friends let me introduce you to, Zach Williams.Ice Cream Party (12)I am in love with THIS song and LuLu and I often are belting this one out in the car…  She actually asks for it now. It is an incredible song! New favourite right there. It’s got a great message and awesome sound, I adore everything about it! The lyrics are spot on and it’s so catchy – I am obsessed!
The other 2 songs on his YouTube are quiet powerful and remind me of the intense video clips Rascal Flatts use to put out – remember those? THIS one is incredibly powerful as is THIS one.
I’ve briefly listened to the rest of the album, I really like it. The songs are faith based and really strong & powerful and the sound is outstanding.
Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts…
What songs are you loving right now?
If you listen to Christian music, I would love to know your top 3 favourites!

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Sunday series on a Friday… {Contentment}

Hey friends,

Let’s talk contentment… Being content., happy where you are, at peace with what you’ve got – you know the deal.
I shared the other night on insta-stories that I found tremendous peace with where I am currently at with my little blog. In this “online world” every single thing is numbers, it matters greatly how many views, followers, likes, shares, etc – everything, every single number matters and you know what… I’m kind of a bit done with having it be that way. I am sick of watching my numbers go up and down. And wondering what I am doing wrong or right. Bottom line is, I am me – I put out the content I feel I need to and what I want to share. Like me or don’t like me, that’s fine.
I said in that post that I am aware I’m a small fish in a big pond & I’m fine with that, that suits me fine – I’m like 5ft/5ft 1 – being little suits me.
That very next morning I woke up to an inner voice trying to tell me, I’m small because I’m not worthy to be anything else… You know the voice, that voice that comes into your mind and undermines your positive thoughts, the voice that tries to drown out the quiet and loving voice we should all be listening for – you know the one, the voice that means nothing good.
And I let it eat at me, it got me down briefly.
And then I realised my worthiness, my contentment & joy isn’t found in that negative voice – it’s found in the one that’s whispering to me, reminding me about the Mums I have encouraged, the positive messages I get weekly, the beautiful connections I’ve made, reminding me of what I have achieved in my “online career” and assuring me what I put out there is useful and needed in this world of many voices. My voice maybe small, but my message matters.
I think this can be compared to so many scenarios in our everyday life, we feel content and then a voice of doubt creeps in, we compare, we lose that joy and secure feeling and suddenly we aren’t happy, we are envious and we are negative.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13
“I am not saying this because I am need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

That is spot on, Jesus is the one who gave me my contentment and it wasn’t His voice trying to fill my mind with doubt. But that of the enemy.
I pray you remember this when a negative voice tries to drown out your positive and content thoughts.

content
I’m so content with my 2 little loves.

I hope this post encouraged you today friends…
Each of our lives and paths are different, but we are all where we are meant to be and still slowly moving to where we are intended to be, all part of a greater plan. We can either be content and at peace with that or be miserable. I chose the joy, each and every darn time, because I want a joy filled life. Even if my current place isn’t the ideal in my mind or the times life is a bit chaotic or hard, I don’t control the end game – that’s out of my hands, but I have faith.
So yes, I will keep striving for more, working and aiming higher – but that doesn’t mean I am not content with where I am. I am grateful for my little platform and I’m thankful you are here to read my post.
Thank you.
Are you feeling content with where you are at?
What are you working towards currently?

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PS: Do you like the new webpage design?

Preparing for pre-prep. {What we are using}

Hey friends,
Last post I came to you asking for help about preparing for kindy/pre-prep (you can read that post HERE)
Today I am here to deliver my findings and what products we ended up choosing for LuLu to start pre-prep with…
Domestic Goddess Unboxing... (1).png(If you would like to see me showing you these products, I have filmed a video you can watch HERE.)

First we have her backpack… Which you can find HERE – for some reason I was unable to purchase this online and had to ring around to find the last one left in our area.
After a lot of thought I ended up going with a Mambo one from Big W. It’s pretty, seems decent quality although it isn’t super padded but it’s a good & large size to fit all her stuff in. I did look at Smiggle, but to be honest, those designs are a bit over the top and didn’t suit our girl and those bags are so pricey! So when I saw one with feathers and arrows – I knew it was perfect! (I can hear LuLu in the toy room shooting her toy bow & arrow right now!)

Her lunchbox was the most expensive item. It is a Munchbox, we went with the mix and match set which can be found HERE (her colour is currently out of stock as of the 12/Jan/2017) This lunch box was $65 and when I say that out aloud I am still like “WHAT”!? You spent $65 on a lunchbox. But I had to buy her a bigger lunch box as she is a big eater and I am planning on this lunch box lasting her for a few years. It is a durable and is meant to be leak proof which I think is great. So if lasts us a few years and is durable – I truly think it is money well spent. I wanted to go with a bento style lunch box so not only is it good for the environment but it is motivating for me to create nutritious and fun lunches for her. The delivery was very quick as well on the Munchbox.
(To save some money, google Munchbox discount code – there are a few online, I was able to save 10% thanks to a quick google search!)

Her water bottle is by Camelbak, we got ours from Woolworths. Her water cup is from OMGosh .
Name labels were ordered from TinyMe, they arrived quickly and are lovely! We will be ordering a hat from Bedhead hats. We love this brand of hat and she currently has one that is swim hat. It’s lasted so well and I love the fact it has a pony tail hole for her hair – she has a lot of hair, so this helps her hat sit on more securely and comfortably.

For rest/quiet time they need a “swag” – which is just a yoga mat and a towel. I got both of these from Big W, she proudly picked the towel herself. (Yoga mat & towel.)  

Uniform wise she can wear anything, but LuLu will be wearing the official kindy shirt and black pants which are the “uniform”. They don’t have to wear red & black & the kindy shirt is mainly for excursions, but I think it’ll make our lives easier if she has some dark coloured pants and red tops to rotate through.

To keep our immune system strong now that we have a “school kid” – I have a good stock of On Guard and Easy Air oil by doTERRA. On Guard is a protective blend designed to help assist in strengthening the immune system and Easy Air helps to maintain clear airways and I love to diffuse it at night. If you want more info on that click HERE or reach out to me!

And we are organised, pre-prep orientation is this Thursday and I honestly cannot believe we are at this point. It feels just like last month I was filming videos updating you all on baby Rexy or sharing fun crafts we did together while she was a little toddler and now here we are… I’m about to send her off to pre-prep. Gosh, I am preparing my heart everyday for this – I know she will thrive and be great, I however will probably be at home sobbing over Tommy telling him to stay little and not leave Mumma yet! LOL!
Oh the bitter sweetness of motherhood, we want our babies to grow and flourish but we long them for them to stay tiny… It’s rough on our hearts!
Hugs to you if you are about to send your little one off this year too!
What products are you using this year?

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Preparing for pre-prep {Advice wanted – HELP!}

2018. A year for big things.
The first big moment for our little family this year is our little love LuLu is off to pre-prep this month. (In 18 days!)
Now, LuLu has never attended day care or been regularly cared for by any one other than Trent & I. I’m her constant, with her 24/7 – so this is a HUGE change for both her and I – personally I feel she’ll handle it much better than I will!

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She is a fun loving, active & very clever little lady who I know will flourish wonderfully. She loves to learn, she is so inquisitive and does not stop asking questions – EVER!
We carefully selected a beautiful kindergarten centre for her. They are big on outside play, nature and it’s child led play based learning – perfect for our LuLu…
We have done a handful of stay & play sessions at the end of last year, so LuLu is aware of the teachers, the centre and how things work.


Now I have to prepare, I have ordered a bunch of name labels from Tinyme  – but now I’m stuck… I’ve never done this before, so I need help…
I need a backpack, where do you buy good quality kid back packs? She has a cute Bobbleart one but I feel it’s too small.
What’s the best type of lunch box for kindy age kids? Those bento/yumbox/I don’t know what they are, it’s like a box with a bunch of sections/you know the ones… Are they worth it?
What are your go to kindy lunches?
Experienced Mumma’s I’m calling on your help… Give me suggestions and advice please!
I don’t mind spending a little bit of money on a good quality back pack as it’s always handy to have one, she’ll most likely get a proper school bag next year with the school’s logo on it, so this one would become a back pack to have in the car for trips away, carry on etc. And same applies for the lunch box, I don’t mind investing in a good one because it’ll be used next year at prep & hopefully in primary school.
Now onto another thing I need help with, how do you be ok? Like as a Mumma, how do I handle the separation? I know, don’t cry in front of her & be strong but gosh, I’m almost crying writing this… Pretty much every single day, she’s been with me for the past 4 years… And now, my little shadow has to go off. How do I handle the first day/week/weeks? I feel like it’s going to hard.
I think she’ll adjust ok, we have had a few “I don’t think I want to go to kindy anymore, I want to stay home with you Mumma.” moments, but 97% of the time she is very positive about it and super excited to go to “school”. I realise after the novelty wears off, she may get a little sad/over it, but hopefully she just keeps loving it. We currently don’t have a sand pit at our rental house, so she’s very excited to get back to pre-prep to play in the sand! I talk very positive about the centre and all her teachers, so I hope that helps her too.
She is very self sufficient, she can open food (muesli bars, biscuits etc), wash her own hands, put her shoes on, get dressed – all those basic things she needs to know how to do, she can… So I feel she is prepared in that sense. She is also confident doing arts & crafts, is very active and strong and loves to play on play equipment, and she can identify her own name. I know every Mumma thinks their kid is smart, but this girl – she is too smart for her own good somedays, she is wise beyond her years with what she understands and her ability to learn makes me proud. I know she’ll do great. Me though, gosh I’ll miss her and her baby brother who adores her and rarely leaves her side will also miss her!
I know I often try to write posts with tips & advice for you all, and maybe next year I can write a post full of advice on sending little ones off to pre-prep/prep, but right now I need the help.
Help me, comment below or connect with me on social media. Any advice, suggestions, tips, tricks – anything is appreciated.
It’s going to be a big adjustment, but I think she’ll thrive and it is all for the greater good.

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Flourish with grace.

It is almost twenty eighteen! I can remember ringing in the New Year in 2000 – and now it’s 2018! So I am getting in early and wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2017 has just over 12 hours remaining, I feel like this year was over in a second – but I also feel it dragged on in parts…
This year has been a pretty massive one for our little family…
Just a few weeks out from the end of 2016 we welcomed our 2nd baby and 2017 was an exciting year of being a family of 4. A number we feel is perfect for us.
We put our house on the market, patiently (kind of) waited for it to sell and then packed up and moved to a completely new town and bought a block of land which we will build on in 2018.
So that was basically our year… How was yours?

Going into 2018, the idea of having a word to focus on/be inspired by for the New Year appealed to me.
But what word? I adore countless words, this year is going to be a massive one for us and gosh, this feels like a lot of pressure – picking one word… So I will be a rebel and break the trend of 1 word and pick two, heck I may even make it a sentence.

Flourish & Grace.

In 2018 I want to flourish.
2016 & 2017 was all about growth for me, they were rough years – full of times I didn’t think I could or would survive. From everything from health issues, to betrayal, hurt, sadness, stress, anger and exhaustion. But you know what? I am sitting here on the 31st of December, 2017 and I am thankful to God for my struggles. I write this as someone who has grown tremendously in the past year. I shared some thoughts about this on my social media & you can read it HERE.
So, if 2017 was a year for big growth, 2018 will be my year to flourish. My environment is more positive this year, I’ve rid my everyday of hurtful people, I’m motivated & determined. So I’m ready to flourish and positively grow even more.
And I want to flourish with grace, I know the reason I can grow is because of His grace.
So, 2018 is my year that Because of His grace, I will flourish with grace. 

Ice Cream PartyHaving my little statement to inspire me, helps me focus on what I hope to achieve in 2018. Basically I want to flourish in every aspect of my life. Keeping flourish & grace in mind these are somethings I plan to work on this year…

  • Growing this little blog even more, helping it flourish.
  • Encouraging others and sharing my story. I want to aim to live my best life, while encouraging others to do the same.
  • Taking better care of me. Being more conscious of what goes into my body and how I am taking care of it and also taking more care of my mental & emotional health.
  • Giving myself grace.
  • Helping my little love LuLu flourish in her first year away from me.
  • Growing more in my faith.
  • Being even more confident in my decisions – which is a big one considering in 2018 we will building our home, and that’s full of decision making!
  • Go on more adventures.
  • Make our new home a home.
  • Do more of what I love and continue to learn.

Now these are fairly vague – there are a lot of little things that fall under these categories – but I prefer to stay very general and not have hard & set things set for an entire year. Each month I plan to reevaluate and set goals to accomplish for that period, this list will probably explode during the year.
What are your goals/resolutions/word/s for 2018? Let me know in the comments below or on my social media.

So 2018, I’m ready for you… Let’s do this, let’s Flourish with Grace.

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10 tips for Handling toxic people & family estrangement at Christmas.

Hey friends,
It is a few days out from Christmas and in today’s blog post I want to offer support & encouragement to anyone that maybe dealing with family issues or estrangement during this festive season.
It is fairly hard to be an adult child and feel like your family has abandoned you or to feel like you have no other choice but to walk away from family who continually hurt you. It sucks, gosh it is hard, heck it is hard enough writing this post, but I feel it may help someone… So if you are dealing with this right now, I am sorry. I get it.

I filmed a video the other day talking about this, I admit it’s a bit rambly and a bit long – so if you want to watch, I highly recommend you go get a cup a tea/snack/cold drink and then click HERE.
But if you would just like a few tips on how to deal with family estrangement or toxic people, especially at Christmas read on…

  1. Refocus your vision. Instead of focusing on who isn’t in your life, focus on who is. Focusing on those who aren’t in your life, is heartbreaking & can bring up a lot of angry feelings. So instead focus on those who actively participate in your life and bring value to it.
  2. We can’t control the actions of others. Remember this, it doesn’t matter who they are – parents, siblings, children, partners – we ultimately cannot control anyone but ourselves.
  3. Set boundaries. If you are forced to be around people who are toxic during Christmas, set boundaries. Protect yourself, don’t put yourself in a position to be alone with them, have an exit plan if you start getting upset or hurt and remain respectful.
  4. Don’t lower yourself. It is easy to say this and not so easy to do this, but when someone is hurting you, don’t go out of your way to hurt them back. Their behaviour is their choice, you look after yourself – your mental & emotional health and make sure you are behaving to a standard you are proud of. Admittedly everyone occasionally says something they wish they hadn’t or let’s anger take over their mind, in this case – try and pull yourself up and walk away or hang up the phone.
  5. Let go of negative feelings. Let go of anger, stress, resentment & bitterness.
  6. Understand everything happens for a reason. This sounds dreadful in this context. Like it’s hard to understand God’s plan for removing people you love from your life, or forcing you to remove people you do love but you can no longer tolerate hurtful behaviour from. But I truly believe everything is part of a greater plan, we just can’t see it yet. Perhaps the person will never be apart of your life again or maybe you just need a time out from them, who know’s time apart could strengthen your relationship… Everyone’s circumstance is different. But everything happens for a reason.
  7. Don’t be hard on yourself & be prepared. If you have made a decision to distance yourself from family members, be gentle with yourself. Not every person will understand, agree with or respect your choice – be prepared for that. You may lose even more people you love, because of the fall out from this decision. Many people will try & guilt trip you – especially around events like Christmas, if you went through gradual steps and the separation is a mature & thought out decision, don’t feel you owe it to anyone to explain why. You can of course, but be strong in your choice and know that your decision was for the best for yourself/& your family at this current time. Often outside people don’t see a side of a person that you may, so they may not understand what you have been through. Toxic people are great at playing the victim & you maybe painted as a villian.
  8. Reconciliation. If you want it to happen, reach out. But prepared to have that talk about issues and also your part in the estrangement. If you don’t want to reconcile but the others do, be respectful if you respond or just say nothing. You don’t have to have a relationship with someone or accept being treated poorly just because they are family.  Christmas seems like an ideal time for reconciliation, because everyone wants family at Christmas – but I highly suggest thoroughly thinking it through seriously, would you and the other person would be in the right mental/emotional state in such a busy month to properly reconcile. Remember it takes 2 people to mend a relationship & both have to be willing and also have empathy. Some toxic people lack the skills to be empathetic – so reconciling can be hard – even impossible and it may actually require professional help. Christmas may not be the ideal time to do this.
  9.  Seek help & talk. Chatting to a trusted friend or your partner/spouse maybe all you need, but maybe speaking to a professional or seeking out a support group is what you need. Don’t let your feelings build up so you explode – talking is very helpful.
  10. Lose all expectations & don’t compare. If you don’t expect anything you can’t get hurt. I am still learning this and it is hard. I don’t mean material items, but basic support & love. The very basic things we expect from family. And try not to compare your relationships to others, this is also tough. Remember comparison is the thief of joy and if you have no expectations – you can’t be disappointed.

Friends, I hope these tips may help you during the holiday season. If you are feeling abandoned, alone or forced into a decision you wish you didn’t have to make – I am sorry. I understand – I truly do. It is very heartbreaking & hard.
To hear me ramble & be a little raw about this topic please click HERE. But be warned the video is a bit all over the place.
Or for more support please check out this organisation. Stand Alone

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This post/video is designed to help people and that is the motive behind posting it.