10 tips for surviving a heat wave with kids.

Hi friends,
We are at the start of a week long heat wave… We have had and are expecting temperatures in the low to mid 30s! (90ish degrees Fahrenheit temperatures) And for some places high 30s/low 40s!! And it’s only the first month of spring!! It’s HOT!

So today my brain is not working that great, I love spring, but summer heat – eh, not so much. I can handle temps up until about 30degrees, after that it just feels like death!
So I thought I would share some tips to stay cool in this heat…

10 tips for beating the heat with kids…

  • Stay hydrated! Keep your freezer stocked with hydralyte (or similar) ice blocks. These are not only great to have in case of sickness, but they are great on hot days especially for active kids… Keep water bottles filled up and water in the fridge.
  • Over heating/heat stroke. Be informed and aware of the signs of heat stroke in not only kids & babies but also elderly, pets and even yourself. HERE is a great article.
  • Netflix or movies. You all know I hate TV and it is a rarity in this house, I truly do not like my kids watching it, but sometimes you just have to give in. When it’s super hot and I need my super active little girl to rest in the heat of the day, I don’t mind popping a movie on for her to enjoy in the cool.
  • Crafts. Kmart has a fantastic range of simple & fairly mess free crafts. LuLu loves them and they entertain her really well. Doing a simple craft inside in the cool (under a fan, near open windows or even in the air con) is a great way to rest & cool down.

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    Highly recommend all 3 of these packs! 

  • Water play. While Trent has been on shift we’ve enjoyed the little paddling pool, but when he is home we all get in the big pool. I use the little pool because it is a lot easier to manage on my own with 2 kids. If you don’t have a pool, a water table is a great play option (a big tub full of water & some Tupperware works too!) or even just a sprinkler or a water fight – kids love water. Try and find a shady spot, and let them have fun! If it is way too hot outside, fill up the bathtub and stay cool inside! (Pinterest is also full of water play ideas!) *Always supervise children around water.
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  • Sunscreen & hats! This goes without saying and I’m sure you all know this point, but sun protection is so important. We put sunscreen on every morning and reapply before going outside each time. We also always have wide brim hats (or legionnaire style for babies) I really like the brand Bed Head hats, that is the brand of LuLu’s swim hat & Tommy’s hat is by Plum (as was LuLu’s swim hat when she was a baby). The kids are always in swim shirts while outside for water play or light shirts that cover their shoulders for regular play.
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  • Cool meals. Plan your meals with the heat in mind, think cool & light foods salads, smoothies, burgers – meals that aren’t bulky and typical hot meals. Make some homemade ice blocks or fruit sorbet. Even treat yourself to a night off making dinner and have take away so you aren’t using your oven.  (My go to meal lately has been a BBQ chicken from Woolies or Coles and coleslaw burgers. Honestly the best easy meal!)
  • Get rest. This comes back to the movie point, but try and encourage your kids to rest & take it easy during the day. LuLu is super active and wants to play all day and she doesn’t nap – so the only way I can get her to rest is to let her to have some TV time. On normal days, her energetic enthusiasm doesn’t bother me, she can play & entertain herself but during this sudden heat wave, I don’t want her over exerting herself in the high temperatures, so I allow a movie so she rests.
  • Wash the dog. Our pets also will be feeling the heat, so get the kids & find a shady spot and give your beloved pooch a spring time bath. They cool down, you all will probably get drenched so you and the kids are cooling down and a job is being checked off your list. Reward your dog for being a good sport with a “pupsicle”!  (a big frozen ice cube full of dog treats/toys etc. I freeze ours in old ice cream buckets & add in a mix of dog treats, cat biscuits, chicken stock, toys etc)
  • Bed time. At bed time the temperatures are normally still high. We dress the kids in the very light clothing and don’t use any sheets,  as the temperature lowers during the evening we go in and cover them. We also keep the bedroom windows open to allow cool breeze to blow in but if it is super hot we run the air con.

How are you staying cool this week?
Let me know in the comments below or on social media…
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Stay cool friends, I am dreading to know what Summer will be like if this is only spring!
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Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2017 {Family Vlog}

Hi friends,

I thought for today’s post I would share our first family vlog. I know my videos normally go up on Friday’s but this is just a bonus type of video.
We attended the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers parade on Saturday and we filmed a little… So if you would like to check it out click HERE. img_4001

We love TCOF time, there are so many wonderful things to do in our town and Toowoomba is just full of beautiful blooms!

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Did you attend the parade? Or what was your favourite float from our video?
Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on social media!
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Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great week!
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Haul video {Sept 2017}

Hi friends,

Sorry today’s video is being uploaded so late – the flu the other week totally set me back in everything, including my filming schedule. So I was stuck on what to film for today & I had just been shopping so that of course means a HAUL VIDEO! YAY! Everyone loves a good haul, head on over to my youtube channel and check it out HERE.
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I can’t believe I actually bought some Christmas items today, like what? Christmas is just around the corner!
Have you bought anything amazing lately or perhaps a sneaky early Christmas decoration? I would love to know, leave me a comment below or connect with me on social media!
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Have a great weekend friends!
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Tips on how to declutter & make money. 

Hi friends,
Happy Monday – how was your weekend?
Mine was busy and productive.
I was motivated to start spring cleaning and decluttering our home… thanks to that sudden urge to “move the clutter” I made around $400 in 2 days!

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I just sold a few items we no longer use and voila a few extra hundred dollars in my pocket!
So I thought in this post I would encourage you to do the same. Go through your wardrobe, your cabinets, your home – sort out what you don’t use anymore or what you don’t really love and pass it on. You can make some extra cash and at this time of the year extra money is a good thing to have – we always find the end of the year is the most expensive!
I highly recommend when you are sorting through items you use the method of looking at the item and deciding do you actually use it, do you love it or is it very precious/sentimental? If not sell it.
If I haven’t used, worn or even picked up in an item in around 6 months, I really have a good think about it – unless it’s a seasonal item, I usually sell it. I am trying to become less emotionally attached to items as well and let go of the guilt and expectation that I “should be keeping” items just because they were given to me. If they aren’t being used or enjoyed I think it’s absolutely sensible to either donate or sell them. There are certain sentimental items I will probably never part with, but I am trying to let go of many things. My sister is a great motivator for this, she seems to lack the sentimental emotion so she gets rid of most things very easily, where as I tend to hold onto them – so if I am struggling with parting with items I just call her! So I suggest having a support person you can call if you are on the fence about an item.
(When I’m decluttering I donate some and sell others.)

My tips for selling on buy, swap and sell sites (Gumtree, Facebook etc.) are…

  •  Take clear photos.
  • Be as descriptive as you can. Include sizing, measurements & state any flaws.
  • Price your item fairly. If I’m hoping for a certain amount (say, $20) for an item I will add on an extra $3-$5 so then I have negotiating room.
  • With pricing I normally do a quick google search of similar products to see what the average price is. That way I know I am pricing my item fairly.
  • Advertise the item in multiple local groups – even try surrounding towns groups.
  • Check your accounts regularly so you can reply to comments/messages in a timely manner.
  • When arranging inspections/pick ups, be wise and safe. I don’t normally give out my address until I know for sure the person is a serious buyer & I usually only have people come when Trent is home or I let someone (my sister, Trent etc) know that a person is coming to purchase an item. I also don’t let people in my home, I meet them on the drive way with the item or even better is to meet in a public place.
  • Don’t expect an instant sale. I just had a pair of boots for sale for 2 months & then just this weekend they sold. Sometimes it takes a little bit of patience.
  • Expect & accept that some people want everything for nothing, especially on buy, swap, sell sites. Honestly some offers are insulting – take it for what it is and just politely decline.
  • I would suggest not holding items for more than a day, because people are notorious for messing you around. I usually do first in best dressed. There is nothing worse than holding an item and then the person ends up being a no show.
  • Keep your post visible. Leave comments like “make an offer – must sell” regularly under your post, maybe once a day around a time many people might be online.
  • Don’t try selling something you are emotionally attached to, be prepared to let it go. If you still love the item you may not negotiate sensibly with it & this result in it not selling.

What are your best tips for selling your unwanted goods? I would love to know, comment below or on my social media.
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I’ve just created another Instagram account @MWL31preloved where I will be listing some of our preloved items, mainly LuLu’s clothes this week (hopefully, once I get a chance to dig through my baby boxes and photograph all the items. LuLu has so many beautiful baby clothes and the chance of me ever having another baby is incredibly slim thanks to the fact I just don’t do pregnancy well, so I thought I should start thinning out my baby clothes collection!) If you are interested please head on over and follow or share with a friend that maybe interested!

I’m off to deposit my money in the bank, have a great day!
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PS: Bonus tip – keep hand sanitiser on hand to clean your hands after handling money. Money is gross and flu/gastro season is in full force!! Keep your hands clean!

New Hair Reveal {VLOG}

Hi friends,
I have an exciting video to share with you all today… Yesterday I spent the majority of my day at the hairdressers cutting & recolouring my hair – click HERE to watch the video to see how it turned out!

I am really happy with the result and cutting my hair I feel is so liberating. For a very long time I have had super long hair and it wasn’t until about 2 years ago I was brave enough to do a big chop… Since the initial “big cut”, I have cut it short one other time but then I let it grow a bit for my best friends wedding that I was recently in. Now that the wedding has been & gone I decided it was time to do a big change!
Cutting my hair to me is powerful, it took a lot of courage for me to first do it at the end of 2015, as I was going against the wishes of my someone whose opinion I listened to far more than I should’ve… I valued that opinion more than my own and that was ridiculous.  I was told for a very long time how ugly and awful I would look with short hair as long hair was my “only beauty”. (For long time readers, you may remember seeing that public conversation on a photo a few years back on my Facebook page…) Since then I have regained control in my life, I call my own shots and the only time I listen to opinions is when they either come from my husband or I actually ask someone I trust greatly to weigh in on a topic.
So as I felt my hair get snipped off I felt relief & like an emotional weight was going as well – this was the first time I was cutting my hair and I wouldn’t have to hear from someone how awful I looked or what a fool I was.
I love my new hair. I think it is fun, fresh & different and my surprise little chunk of colour for LuLu makes me smile. And LuLu and Trent think it is great!

Friends, I encourage you to remember to do things for you. Don’t always follow what others say and make sure the people you are listening to are respectful of you. I now only ask advice from trusted people who I know will respect me if I do or if I don’t follow their advice. We are our own person, we have to do things that make us happy – my hair is mine and it effects no one else, so me cutting it is for me. This should be applied to most things in life, do what makes you happy & what you feel is right for you – if it isn’t hurting anyone then the opinions of others shouldn’t matter greatly to you.

I would love to know what brave step you’ve done with your hair? Or have you never done something drastic?
Comment below or connect with me on my social media!
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Thank you to Michelle & the team at Innovative Hair Design Highfields for the great day, make sure you check them out on FACEBOOK HERE. 
Have a great weekend!
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How to change a life; Graduate To Greatness. {LIVING HOPE}

According to the United Nations, as the number of women who are educated and employed increases, economies grow higher and faster.*

Hi friends,
Many of you know Watoto is an organisation close to my heart – the work they do in Africa is life & nation changing. You may recall a recent post I did on the Watoto Choir, you can read it HERE if you missed it.

Today I am honoured to be able to share with you another branch of this incredible organisation….
Living Hope is an initiative set up to help empower vulnerable women in Africa. It was launched in 2008 and is run by Watoto that has centres in Kampala, Uganda and Gulu.

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What does empowerment mean to you? Is it a time someone told you they believed in you and that you had purpose? Was it when someone helped you out or gave you a chance? Perhaps when you were able to achieve something you never thought you would? In this post I want to speak to you about helping to empower extremely vulnerable women in Africa.
In Uganda, 83% of women earn less than $1 USD a day. Watoto is working to turn this around with Living Hope.*
Living Hope is working to restore dignity to the wounded women of Africa. These women have experienced things worthy of nightmares. Some have been victims of war, human trafficking and social injustice and many are HIV+.

Did you know that in a vulnerability survey conducted by Watoto in 2015*:
• 17% of the women survey reported receiving no formal education
• 46% of those who had gone to school never reached P7 (equivalent to Year 7 in Australia)
• 43% of those women were unemployed
• 61% of those women had no income generating skills
• 83% of those women earned less than a dollar a day.

This narrative is all too common in Africa; however, there is hope.
Together, we can change the cycle of poverty.
Living Hope helps women to gain access to much needed medical care, necessary life skills, education, training in business and a craft or marketable skill and empowers women by assisting them in being apart of/or obtaining income generating projects. This allows them to become productive members of their community.

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Living Hope has changed the lives of nearly 3000 women and their children (more than 15,000 boys and girls)
During September Watoto is running a campaign “Graduate To Greatness” where they hope to raise enough money to empower 450 vulnerable mothers in Uganda to start their own businesses. We can help give a fellow mother the physical tools she needs to begin generating an income after graduating from Living Hope. Let’s break the cycle of poverty and help them Graduate To Greatness by giving them the gift of a future.

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When you change one woman’s story, when you empower her, you are changing the story for her family, her community and eventually her nation.

 

Vivian’s Story from Watoto Australia on Vimeo.

Friends, I deeply encourage you to join me in helping empower vulnerable women and assisting them to Graduate To Greatness with Living Hope.
Please consider donating what you can to the Graduate to Greatness campaign. HERE.

If you are reading this, chances are you are like me – we are fortunate & empowered women simply because of chance, we are born into a country that values education for all & we have the freedom of choice and being who and what we want to be, let us empower our fellow sisters who need a hand up.
We would never want this life for the women we love, our daughters, mothers, sisters or friends – so join with me in helping some of the most marginalised and wounded women of Africa. Whatever amount you can give has the power to help change these women’s lives.
Please donate HERE.  
The goal for this campaign is to raise $30,470 which will be doubled by generous Watoto partners who have pledged to match each dollar up to this amount – meaning $60,940 could be raised! Please friends, I encourage you to donate what you can. And share, share this post, this campaign!

Empowered women empower women.

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Thank you friends, thank you so much.
(Please if you donate, let me know on my social media or comment below – I would love to say thank you and even send out a thank you note! Your support means so much to me, the Watoto organisation and the women we will be helping.)
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Please also check out Watoto on social media! 
Watoto Facebook Australia
Watoto Facebook International
Watoto Instagram Australia
Watoto Instagram International
Watoto Twitter Australia
Watoto YouTube
Watoto Vimeo 

 

* Living Hope Vulnerability Survey of 490 Women. Conducted by Watoto in Uganda in 2015 across 20 locations in Uganda

Come shopping with us! {Mummy – Daughter Vlog & Haul.}

Hey friends,
What a week! But it’s Friday, I made it to Friday (praise Jesus) and I have a new video for you all!
Click HERE to watch a shopping vlog & haul with LuLu & I! Aug shopping.jpgThis was a really fun day out for just us girls. LuLu was super excited to feature in a video, she’s been asking for awhile to be in them (trying to jump in, lol) So she was so happy to film a few little pieces…

I’m pretty sure though unfortunately from this day, LuLu caught the flu at the shopping centre… Over the weekend she was a little out of sorts, by Sunday night she was complaining of headaches, Monday she was miserable, Tuesday was spent on the couch watching TV & then the early hours of Wednesday morning we were up the hospital in emergency because she had super high temperatures… Thankfully by Thursday she was feeling better & temperatures were down and today she is almost back to normal! And because it’s the way things go, she is going back to being full of energy & I’m starting to feel very unwell… So I am dreading going through the cycle she just went through, it seemed horrific! Gosh, I hope mine is something minor and not the flu!

Anyway, I am off to rest… I hope you enjoy this video! Please leave a comment below, or on the video saying “HI” to LuLu, I’ll read her the comments! Or connect with me on social media!
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Have a great weekend!
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