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…

Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Have a great day.

Signature

Advertisements

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.

Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Signature

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)

Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Signature

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…)
img_8868

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!)

img_8881
img_8879
img_8865

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…

img_8867
Roof going on.
img_8880
Sarking/builders wrap on!
img_8866
Our big sliding door going in… 
img_8878
My butlers pantry window…
img_8877
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!

Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Signature

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!
Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Signature

* 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}

Family Camping in Australia. (1).jpg

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,
Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Signature

*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/

Family Camping in Australia. (1).jpg

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. 

Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30

Signature