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}

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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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House build update & progress video!

Hey friends,
I feel this post is well over due and I keep meaning to write it and then get sidetracked… But let’s talk all things house…
Firstly we are at lock up stage – woo hoo… As I type this (Thursday the 31st of May) I believe our kitchen, bathrooms & laundry should be being installed this week…. I am so darn excited, I know I say that every single time I talk about the house – but I truly am! (Update; today is the 2nd of June and we are doing a walk through this afternoon to view what’s been installed so far of our cabinetry and I’m dying of excitement. I drove past yesterday and saw one of my kitchen cabinets through the window and pretty much cried!!)

Now to answer the biggest question I’ve been asked since we said we were building…
“What plan are we using?”
We are building with GJ Gardner Dalby, (who are amazing!!) so we are using one of their plans but have changed it entirely… The plan we started with is the ‘Fernbank 253’ – but we’ve changed most of it and also made it bigger. Trent worked tirelessly to design a home that is perfect for us. Our custom plan suits us perfectly…
(For privacy & security reasons we will not be sharing our complete plan at this time…)
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On Mother’s Day I did something really meaningful to us for our house… We went there, had a picnic dinner and I wrote scriptures, prayers and little quotes all over the framework. It was on the eve before our house was to be gyrpocked/sheeted. It is something that can’t be seen but we know it is there and it means so much to us…
(Would you like me to share a blog post with the verses & quotes I used for this? Let me know!)

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I have made a video documenting our house journey so far… From when we first got the block to it being at lock up stage! So click HERE to watch it! And here are a few photos…

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Roof going on.
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Sarking/builders wrap on!
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Our big sliding door going in… 
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My butlers pantry window…
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Our mudroom area that Trent is going to build… 

Our journey so far of building has been surprisingly pretty easy. Nearly everyone we spoke to said how stressful and hard it can be, but our tastes are similar and I feel we made good decisions together… Trent is truly my best friend and understands exactly what I like… I have visions but can never draw/get them out – but I can explain what I want and he gets it 110% and can make it come to life! I may have driven him nuts in this process though with struggling to understand plans! Sorry Trex!
We have made some bold choices in some areas of the house and I’ll leave that as a surprise, but I will say our tile choices won’t be for everyone – but they are perfectly us.

So friends, that’s all for today. If you have any questions please reach out to me via comments or my social media… If you love seeing house updates make sure you are following along on insta and facebook as I do post mini updates on there!
Have a great weekend!
VIDEO LINK CLICK HERE!

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Motivation to get stuff done when you would rather not. {VIDEO} 

Hi friends,

Do you ever have those days where you are so absolutely exhausted you can barely brush your teeth, but #mumlife doesn’t stop, does it?
I have those days (unfortunately more often than not thanks to THIS) but anyway, my point with this post is to encourage you for those days.
I filmed a “day in the life” video the other week – you can watch it HERE… On that particular day I was filming I felt so awful, my head was pounding and my body was not happy. I would’ve loved to kick back for the day but I knew if I didn’t take advantage of getting my jobs done while Trent was home to help out with it all, then the following few days I would be even more exhausted.
Some days we need to rest and have no other option or it’s a luxury we can do, but on other days it just really isn’t realistic. If I had left the groceries and ignored the lunch box well then I would be doing that on my own and with 2 kids. The lunch box is fairly easy but I try to avoid grocery shopping with kids because, STRESS!
So Mumma’s here are My top 5 tips for getting through those days when you would rather sleep!

  1. Set achievable goals… I pick 3 tasks I want to do that day & if I only get those 3 done it is great but I know usually I’ll do more and then it makes me feel better about myself.
  2. Reward yo’ self! On this particular day I treated myself to cheeseburger, because sometimes you need to eat the burger! If you are dreading doing the groceries, say to yourself if you get it done then you can grab a magazine or chocolate at the register for later or a coffee from a drive thru on the way home. Sometimes a tiny little treat can perk us up!
  3. Ask for help & accept it. We don’t have “outside help” or really anyone that comes and gives us a hand, but Trent and I work really well as a team. His final day off each run he knows it’s him and the kids so I can get “my jobs” done… He helps out during the day with whatever I ask him to do, but I mainly like him to just spend time with the kids because he does work such big shifts so they do miss him.
  4. Do not over do it. I suck at this, but try to do what you need to do and don’t burn yourself out. Stop and give yourself grace. You do not need to do it all. Doing those 3 main tasks you picked is enough and will start you on the right foot in the morning/ for the coming week.
  5. Eat well & drink lots of water… Yes, in this video I eat Maccas, so who am I to preach about nourishing our bodies? Ha. But in all seriousness, the fuel we give ourselves truly impacts how we feel. And sometimes how we feel can be a reflection of our diet. I love to drink really cold water, I find it just boosts me up – don’t know why, but it does. But the same with a good & healthy meal. Eating a good lunch maybe what you need to give you that motivation to get you through a long day. But then again, maybe a chocolate will too. It’s all about balance and what works for you. (But in the long run, the healthier option is the best…)

So friends, I hope you found this motivating or a little encouraging. I truly understand how hard it is just to get through a basic day sometimes and then when you add in extra jobs, it truly can feel like too much. But life doesn’t stop.
I hope from these tips you can pick one or two that may help you.
What is your biggest tip for getting through a day when you are absolutely exhausted but have lots to do?
Please comment below or on my social media!
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* I did want to add that Trent does help me out a great deal around the house and all these jobs he would gladly do for me, I’m just a control freak and like to do things myself like a crazy person! So he just helps out where and however he can. 

#LetstalkIBD – My story with IBD & what the heck is wrong with me… {VIDEO}

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Today is World IBD Day…
So, that’s relevant why to this blog? Because in August 2016 I was diagnosed with IBD after living with the disease undiagnosed since October 2015.

IBD is inflammatory bowel disease. It’s as fun and as pretty as it sounds.
IBD is made up of 2 diseases, crohn’s and ulcerative colitis – from my original diagnosis I’ve apparently hit the the lottery and have both…
There is loads of information online about IBD…. (so feel free to have a google…)
But basically crohn’s is chronic inflammation of the digestive track, it can appear in any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but mainly affects the small intestine and/or colon and it can affect all layers of intestinal wall – not just the lining.
Ulcerative Colitis is inflammation that occurs in the lining of the large intestine and/or colon.
It is incurable but can (usually) be managed with medication (& in some cases operations if it’s serious enough) and it comes with a host of symptoms like chronic fatigue, intense abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, swollen joints, ulcers, eye problems, blood loss, bowel problems, bloating, dehydration and my strange one is aching bones that is the most painful thing ever! Plus many more fun things… Having your gut inflamed can trigger other parts of your body to get inflamed and cause new problems, recently one of my eyeballs decided to be ridiculous and get irritated & inflamed, that was pleasant.
And just a note, the side effects from the intense medication can sometimes be just as bad as the symptoms – so it’s a tough problem to deal with. 

So with my diagnosis when biopsies were taken during my first procedure (I talk about that in THIS video) it appeared I had UC but from the tests it showed inflammation that is common with crohn’s – so lucky ol’ me got diagnosed with both for now, but I believe its mainly UC with some similarities to crohn’s.
If you would like to hear more about my IBD journey please check out THIS video HERE. It was honestly one of the most difficult videos I have ever had to film, I am still coming to terms with this disease. It’s ugly, embarrassing and isolating. No one wants to hear about this sort of problem and it’s not a problem that you can easily explain to someone, and it is very complex and hard to get your head around. So go grab a cuppa and sit down because it 25 whole minutes… When I’m nervous about filming I tend to ramble but then I thought maybe my rambling maybe comforting or helpful to someone else struggling with this disease. And if you want to play a drinking game at home, take a shot every time I touch my hair or say “it is what it is”… (you’ll be drunk by the end of the video.)

In the video I do briefly cover my entire story/journey with IBD… But for those who don’t have 25 minutes to spare (don’t feel bad, nor do I!) I was diagnosed in August 2016, which was when I was 20 weeks pregnant with our son. (If you have been around since I was pregnant with “Baby Elf” you will recall I was fairly sick and mentioned I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease, this is it.)
Having IBD and being pregnant is apparently normally fine, because if you are aware of your disease you know how to manage it and what to do, I had no idea I had this problem (I had been sick since October 2015) and it was constantly dismissed by my past GP as being stressed/depressed/high strung… (Stress is a trigger for me to have a flare up, but there was more to it than just stress clearly…) On top of having undiagnosed IBD I also had fairly severe all day morning sickness. Fun times… (Keeping in mind my size, I am super small normally, so I don’t have “weight” to just lose either…) So I struggled through the first half of my pregnancy until my OB put me in hospital for a week and I finally was seen by a gastroenterologist who diagnosed with me IBD… My whole pregnancy was pretty dreadful, the last half of it was a lot of worry, rest and medication. After our son was born the amount of medication I had to take was increased and I started to improve and then the drugs were tapered off a bit during 2017… I’ve been going fairly well with only minimal symptoms (my biggest and most common symptom is fatigue & very painful bones) up until recently where I suddenly have become sicker & it seems I’m getting worse and I have had some worrying symptoms… I see my specialist next week and I assume more thorough testing (scopes) will be planned. (After these scopes I’m truly praying that maybe I’ll be re-diagnosed with just one of the diseases instead of both…) *I would have seen my specialist sooner as I have been quiet sick, but she’s been on holidays – but I’ve been regularly seeing my GP. 

So friends, that’s it… IBD.
I will tell you now, this disease is painful in more ways than the obvious. Yes the stomach pain is absolutely horrendous, like you do want to curl up and die – but the pain it has on your self esteem and mental health is horrific. It is very hard to have illness no wants to hear about or you feel nervous mentioning because let’s be honest, no wants to hear about your bowel habits. It is a disease that makes you feel very ugly, disgusting and awful and also makes you feel isolated. Most people who don’t have the disease don’t understand it and trying to explain it is never great. And I’ve even been told “it’s not a proper disease”… So, it sucks – because many people don’t realise how truly awful it can make you feel. And unless it’s spoken about more openly people will continue to not understand.
But it’s also not the end of the world, I’m sick – so what? I get on with my life and I refuse to let this disease own or define me… Yes, I feel exhausted and sore 92.5% of the time but my life can’t stop because I am sick. Sometimes IBD wins and I need to stop, but I try my hardest to keep going. My life doesn’t stop, I have 2 small people to care for – they are my focus and motivation.

If you have recently been diagnosed with IBD, first up I’m sorry – I truly wish it wasn’t this because it truly is shit (Ha, little IBD humour there), but secondly – you are not alone. This disease even though it is not “super trendy” or commonly spoken about is increasingly common (more than 80,000 Australians have this problem) A quick youtube search is going to pull up a whole bunch of funny, witty and honest videos that will make you feel that tiny bit not so alone. And I hope this blog does too. My diagnosis is still fairly new and I’m still getting my head around the whole thing and educating myself on IBD. So while I navigate this new addition to my life and learn to deal with and accept it, I thought I would occasionally share my journey with you all.
If someone you love or know has IBD please be there for them, offer help and take time to briefly educate yourself on what the disease is and no it is not IBS, so don’t confuse the two. Having someone who tries to understand and is supportive in life truly is so wonderful, especially when dealing with a health problem that at times can make you feel like your body is shutting down and it can very be confronting, isolating, humiliating and a bit scary.

Thanks for reading friends,
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*I am not an expert on IBD, I only write from my own my experience and understanding. This is a disease that is unique to every person.
Information and stats sourced from; https://www.crohnsandcolitis.com.au/about-crohns-colitis/

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Ice skating & Disney On Ice {VIDEO}

Hey friends!

Last Wednesday we spent a fun few hours at Ice World at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane celebrating the launch of Disney On Ice “100 years of magic”.
We got to spend some time ice skating and also meet one of the stars of the show…
I filmed some footage while we were there so click HERE to check it out…
We had so much fun ice skating and LuLu did amazing! She was being taught by some lovely young professional ice skaters how to properly skate, so she really enjoyed herself.
We also got to meet and chat to Shelley Craft (Saturday Disney flash back!), she is the current ambassador for Disney On Ice. She is so lovely!

Disney on Ice is skating into Brisbane at the end of June just in time for school holidays! If you would like more information or to purchase tickets please head to Ticketek or click HERE. 

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How our Easter really was… {Truth}

How our Easter really was… {Truth}

Hey friends,

It’s Easter Sunday night and I am sitting in bed with my feet up & sipping a cold drink – I’ve just had a soak in a hot bubble bath… Sounds pretty ideal right? Nice and relaxing… What a splendid way to spend an Easter Sunday evening… I really could just leave the post at this and be done with it, but I’ll be honest here and tell you how my Easter Sunday has really gone and why those few basic “self care” things NEEDED to happen.

Let me take you back to Thursday… I woke up to a very odd looking left eye. Like the bottom half my eyeball was blood shot red and it felt swollen… Great. I figured it may have been some random allergy, I had plans to attend an under 8’s day event with LuLu that day and had to get groceries for Good Friday, so it was a busy day – my eye was throbbing in pain but I didn’t have time to deal with it…
In the afternoon we all decide to go to the block to check out the progress on the house and I wanted to stop by the pharmacy and grabbed some eye drops as my eye still wasn’t improving & the pain was very distracting… I spoke to the pharmacist and they told me to go straight to an optometrist because my eye looked very bad… Great. 3:10pm on a Thursday afternoon, before the easter long weekend I had to try and get a last minute appointment in a small town… Thankfully I got an appointment and I was sitting in the waiting room, I get a text from Trent who was waiting in the car for me with the kids and it read; “Have to go home, Tommy has just been sick everywhere”. Here I am freaking out that I can’t race home and console and fix my baby and help clean up, but thankfully Trent is very capable and took care of it all like a champ. I was able to get my eye seen to, get ointment and eye drops… (Turns out a part of my eye was inflamed and started causing another part to deteriorate in a spot… As of Sunday night, it’s doing much better!) 
That night was fairly sleepless as Tommy was unwell and Good Friday was a slow day, just taking care of our little man was our main focus.
(I still got to attend church and then I cooked a delicious dinner of homemade garlic sauce with snapper, rice, prawns, salad and buttered baked potatoes – it all sounds very mismatched but ended up being spot on!) At this point Tommy is on a very bland and simple diet, we couldn’t work out what was going on and continued watching him closely. He was/is acting happy, has energy and is seemingly fine, but randomly is throwing up and it’s not immediately after food or anything… It truly makes no sense…
Saturday rolls around, he only has 3 tiny little spit ups, so I think he must be getting better….
Then….
12:15am Easter Sunday morning… I wake up to warm liquid gushing over my shoulders and chest, I quickly realise it’s my baby, vomiting in his sleep all over me and our bed… I thank God, I honestly said this out loud “thank you for having him beside me right now God”… As I grabbed him and rolled him over so he wouldn’t choke and that’s when he woke up very startled. Thankfully LuLu who was also in the bed was curled up on the other side so she avoided the mess and Trent was working, so I really had to make a survival choice here… I knew to change the sheets I would have to wake LuLu, get her out of bed, turn all the lights on and it would take 5-10 minutes to get everything changed and clean and at this point I was so darn tired & weak I could barely stand… So I just cleaned myself up quickly, changed my top and cleaned Tommy up & threw a towel over the wet sheets… (I have a waterproof protector under my fitted sheet so I knew the mattress would be fine…) Not ideal and sleeping on a towel is something I do not recommend for comfort levels – but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes…
Trent wasn’t due home for like another 2 hours, so I walked and walked up and down the hallway trying to get my little man to settle, I laid in bed, sat on the couch, trying – I tried everything. He would nod off to sleep and then jolt awake… This continued to around 2am, when Trent finally got home and saved me and of course Tommy snuggled right into Trent and fell asleep…
So how did your Easter Sunday start? That good?
We were all up and out of bed before 6:30am.
We had fun doing the egg hunt and sharing in the excitement of new toys!
But Trent and I were both dead tired and bickered at each other a few times over stupid things and our patience was at an all time low. Then we ended up going to the doctors at 9am to get Tommy checked out… (Doctor also is stumped, hoping it’s a very mild form of gastro or a tummy bug presenting in an odd way… But if he worsens or doesn’t improve by Tuesday tests will be done)
I felt like I was running on total empty, I could barely move. I still had to peg out the bed sheets and then remake our bed and do all the other laundry, do groceries and tidy the house. We have sheets and towels everywhere at the moment to try and save our carpet and furniture if he was to be sick, so the state of my home isn’t making me happy either and add on the stress of having a baby (who is very small naturally so he doesn’t have weight to lose) being randomly & unexplainably sick… I was pretty much a wreck. I hate having my kids sick, it breaks my heart especially when it’s making no sense and I can’t “help”.
But I went home, pegged the laundry out, put another load on, tidied myself up, breastfed Tommy and put him to sleep, left Trent to nap/rest and took LuLu and headed to church… To rejoice in the fact He is risen, to listen to truth and just sit and be still… LuLu coloured quietly beside me as I listened about how loved I am and how great He is. I sat there quietly feeling like I was about to collapse – my bones ached and my body felt so weak, I prayed for strength to make it through the day,  for patience & wisdom, I asked our Lord to highlight some glimmers of joy in our day that at the time I just couldn’t find and prayed for the ability to give myself some grace and stop being so hard on myself…
Now church and prayer isn’t magic, it doesn’t instantly & magically fix things, but I always feel comfort at church & after praying. I know He is there, He loves & cares for me.
As we sung the last song at church LuLu wanted me to hold her, she clung to me, her little hands touching my hair and then holding me tightly, her head resting on my shoulder, she hardly ever does this anymore so I enjoyed every second of it – I savoured that moment and soaked it in. Despite feeling like I was too weak to hold her, I swayed gently and sung about our Lord rising from the dead on this day all those years ago and His love for us. He died to save us from our sins and rose 3 days later to give us eternal life, I felt so thankful for this life even the struggles.
For the rest of the day I powered through (I had to, what I didn’t get done today I would have to do on Monday and Trent was back to work then, so doing it while he was home to help me and stay with the kids made sense…) I got the groceries done, the bed made and the laundry finished and folded & put away… I gave myself some grace – we had ham and cheese toasted sandwiches for dinner, not exactly the roast I had planned.
By 4:45pm everyone was tired and our day was done. I vacuumed the floors like I do every night and quickly mopped them and we tucked our babies in bed. I ran a big hot bath with epsom salts and bubble bath and sunk down into it, snacking on a few Easter eggs, my first for the day & sipping cold water.

Then I had a hot shower and for a moment for my tired body felt better but now that I’m out and sitting here on my bed I can feel my bones aching again and I don’t know why, I really can’t explain it. But as soon as I get run down or not enough sleep – my body starts to crash, my bones aching is usually the first sign. It sucks, so I’ve got a cold drink and I’m venting my heart out to you all trying to relieve the stress and disappointment in myself.

Our Easter morning was still magical, we had an egg hunt and the kids loved their gifts. We spent time with a little friend who lives down the street, watched a movie and we spoke to our loved ones on the phone. We read Easter books and played games, Trent and the kids went for a walk around the block with some neighbours, but the enthusiasm on my end wasn’t to the level I like to give my kids, especially on special holidays. It was more on a survival level. That makes me feel disappointed in myself, but I know I have to give myself grace. I’m running on bare minimum sleep, my health isn’t terrific (working on it) and it’s just been a rough few days. There will be other Easters… There will be… And sometimes I think these rough days are blessings in disguise, they are given to us so we can appreciate the beautifully easy days where life just goes to plan that little bit more and also so I can share these stories – share them to encourage you.
No ones life is always perfect, kids get sick, lack of sleeps brings out the worst in everyone and somedays survival mode is all we can muster – occasionally even on special holidays… And that is ok. It is life.
Giving ourselves grace is vital, finding small ways to recharge with self care is vital and knowing it’s only a bad day/week is vital. This isn’t the story of my everyday, it’s a just a story of few hard days – days I probably won’t even remember in a year or 10! I try to remember this when I am struggling, this day will not be a stand out day, it’ll be a blur of the past, one day. I can chose to highlight what went right today and store that away in my mental memory bank or I can dwell on the negatives. I chose to remember the joy and let the hardships fade away.

Friends I hope somehow this rambling of words that have been typed with half closed eyes (so forgive the poor writing) has encouraged you today. Everyday won’t be magic, but there will be glimmers of joy in every single day. I can promise you that, you may just have to look a little harder.
I hope your Easter has been more easy & relaxing than ours!
Happy Easter.
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I just thought I would add as of Monday morning at 11am we have had no more vomits since that midnight incident. Praying to God, touching wood and everything is crossed our Little Mitty is on the mend. We would appreciate any extra prayers, please. He is still on a very bland and simple diet but if he continues to keep everything down until tomorrow morning I will start reintroducing food. I hope this is the end of this awful & confusing sickness! 

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