Five different uses for Baby Wipes

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I am a little obsessed with baby wipes and I use them in so many different ways. If you are someone who is a little left of centre like me, then this post might give you some tips on different ways to use wipes. If you are reading along thinking I’m slightly crazy and that baby wipes should only be used for babies, then this post might not be for you. Below are five different uses for baby wipes.

  1. Make up remover.

This is my favourite! I got told that baby wipes remove make up so long ago but didn’t really try it until about a year ago. I can’t stand make up remover. I always seem to get it in my eyes and it definitely doesn’t tickle. Baby wipes are a great way to remove your makeup easily. They are so handy for traveling too. If you want to clean your face and there’s no sink, just uses a wipe and freshen up with some moisturiser and you feel so much better.

  1. Cleaning the car.

I leave a packet of baby wipes in the glove box and it makes cleaning the car so much easier. While my car is being washed, I spend the same amount of time wiping down the console, steering wheel, doors etc. They even work for glass (however I use a cloth to buff the glass afterwards so there are no streaks)

  1. Cleaning shoes.

Wipes are so good to use to clean the kids shoes with. They shine them up and remove marks. They make an ordinary job a lot easier to do in a short amount of time.

  1. Cleaning the house.

Baby wipes make cleaning so much easier! I use them EVERYWHERE. I clean my whole kitchen, fridge, microwave, sinks etc. with wipes and a little bit of spray. Also use them for a quick spot clean of the whole house including dusting, bathrooms, toilets, doors, and walls. Seriously guys….they work on everything! I am a bit OCD so this is a hygienic way of cleaning and I love it.

  1. Cleaning chalk boards.

Something so simple as cleaning a chalkboard should be a quick job, however I never used to be able to clean it properly. The chalk would just smudge around and it wouldn’t look good, no matter how many times I would dust it off. Using baby wipes removes all the excess chalk and makes it nice and clean again, only to be messed up within seconds! #mumlife

So I hope you’ve picked up a couple of tips for different ways to use baby wipes. If you are like me and use them often, please comment below with your top tip!

 

Until next time,

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Daddy dates!

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We are such a chaotic, busy family. I’m always chasing my tail and wishing I had more time in a day and a few more days in the week. Over the last year we haven’t been in the best routine and I noticed with all of the late nights, weeks away and constant craziness that we call life, Jacks behaviour had been a little bit different. His attitude was in full force, melting down over silly things and he just didn’t seem settled. His Dad has been working our travel biz and it’s great that it’s going so well, but he hasn’t been home every night to play and read stories, so I think Jack was starting to crave some extra attention. I’ve read so many times that kids tend to muck up more when they aren’t getting what they need, so we decided to start trying to fit in Daddy Dates! It doesn’t happen every weekend, but when we are home, Mike has started taking the kids on little individual Daddy Dates. Since doing this Jack has become a lot happier and more confident (because it’s not always Mummy and Jazzie with him). He feels like he gets special time with his daddy and it’s great for their father, son bonding. Jaz loves her Daddy Date time too. I also do something with the child Mike isn’t with so they get one on one time with me too, which is nice. Some things Mike has done for Daddy Dates include movies, sushi train, built a herb garden, time zone, haircuts and ice creams and he now takes Jack once a week to Karate lessons for some extra bonding time. There are so many activites you could do and even just a bike ride or walk around the block would be a great start. Kids are just happy to be spending quality time with their loved ones. I really feel this is important for the kids and although it doesn’t happen every single weekend, we try to do it when we are home. I also think this would be great for Nanas, Aunties, Uncles and other adult role models that are close to your children. We have noticed a massive change in Jack and I really recommend one on time for all of our kids.

Until next time,

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The Two Books That Every New Mum Should Read

img_6236Becoming a new mum is one of the scariest, hardest, most challenging times. I remember when I became a mum a few years ago, I had no clue what to expect. I never felt ‘ready’ and I was a fish out of water.

I remember wanting to learn as much as I could and crammed as much ‘research’ in as possible. Even after becoming a mum, I still kept reading all of the perfect parenting books about how to get your kid to sleep through, what they should be doing, what is best for them…it was endless!

I read the highly recommended Save Our Sleep and did none of what they suggested. All reading that book made me do was feel like a failure and I found myself questioning my parenting beliefs even more than I should have been. Of course that book is widely popular, but for me it just didn’t help. Each to their own of course. I think the next book I tackled was the No Cry Sleep Solution and again all it did was make me feel inadequate and less of a mum for not being strong enough to follow the perfect parenting structure.

I remember when I bought these two books, I was initially so excited because it was going to have all of the answers and my kids would sleep perfectly, achieve all their milestones and be perfect little humans.

Fast forward to a couple of years later and I would never recommend any structured parenting or sleep training books to any new mums. This gig is hard enough and putting more pressure on ourselves to be perfect, is the last thing new mums need. Our babies will develop when they are ready. They will sleep through the night when they are ready and they are only small for a little while.

The two books I am recommending today are real, honest, raw and hilarious. Their authors… the fabulous Em Rusciano and Constance Hall and they are both amazing role models for mothers. Thankfully Facebook is a platform where we can find wonderful humans like Em and Constance. I first saw Em back on Idol years ago but have been following her on Facebook for a while because she always writes entertaining and funny posts and I try to keep things on my newsfeed that are positive and make me feel good. I first came across Constance through a post a friend shared and I feel like she is so relatable to most mums out there. Both these lady legends keep things extremely real and their books don’t disappoint. Em’s is called Try Hard and Constance’s is called Like A Queen! They don’t care if they are judged or laughed at and they are happy to stand out and have a voice for the challenges that many mothers go through and are too scared to discuss. They parent and live their lives the way that is right for them. They are inspiring because they are both confident and honest and don’t hold back when sharing stories of their parenting years and the challenges they have faced. 

The reason I love these books is because they make all mums feel that we are doing a good job. We are the first to judge ourselves on how we do life and how we are parenting, but both of these ladies make us feel like we are doing a great job. And they make it sound like it’s ok to have a drink or two! Love that!

I have never read two books more quickly back to back. I just knew they would be awesome because it’s the first time I have actually used a bookmark instead of folding the corners down to save the page. I knew I would want these books in good condition to pass around to all my mum friends and have started doing that already.

Please, if you know of any mums or anyone about to become a mum, buy them these books. They will be something they can read when they aren’t winning or feeling that great! They will be uplifting, entertaining and will definitely make them feel like they are doing ok!

If you know of any mums that could benefit from these books please share or tag them in this post!

Until next time,

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Why I will go back to Dreamworld!

 

dreamworldI’m sure everyone was just as devastated and shocked at what happened at Dreamworld last week. I never watch the news or read articles that pop up on my news feed, but this one was a little close to home. Like many, I had been on the Thunder River Rapids ride several times. It was the ride I loved the most. I was always one of those people that used to be scared of all the big rollercoasters and extreme rides and the water based rapid rides were always my favourite because the possibility of dying on those rides was very low…or so I thought. I was so shocked with what happened and over the last week, it has been on my mind many times.

I have also seen so many people commenting and saying how they will never go back to Dreamworld ever again.

I am not trying to take anything away from what happened, because it was truly heartbreaking, however I personally will be standing by Dreamworld and will be going there as planned in December with my family if it is reopened by then. And this is why (in my opinion)…

To me it was a one off FREAK accident (and I really hope it turns out to be that). This could have happened at Disneyland or any major theme park. From what I have read, Dreamworld serviced the ride in September and obviously all of the facts aren’t out there yet, but I do believe they would certainly have followed the correct protocol for their maintenance programs.

I also feel bad for the staff that are a part of the Dreamworld family. If people don’t go back to Dreamworld, many of their workers will loose their jobs. They are people just like you and me. They have families to support and food to put on the table. Our repeat business will keep these people in a job. It is not their fault this tragedy happened.

Another reason we will be going back is because my kids absolutely love Dreamworld. It is a happy place for them and they love ABC kids world, the tigers, the Madagascar section and also Whitewater world.

And finally, personally as an anxious person, I am constantly pushing myself to not live in fear. The old Sam might have been someone who wouldn’t have gone back to Dreamworld, but the new Sam is someone who lives life to the fullest knowing that when your time’s up, your time’s up. I have been overseas several times and have had friends say how dangerous it is to travel at the moment. The same people are happy to sit at home, feeling safe, but I am always willing to live life to the fullest and we have been experiencing amazing things along the way.

I don’t want to take anything away from the devastating loss and the trauma the families of the victims will be going through. I would love to see Dreamworld remove the ride at cause and put in place a memorial garden or butterfly sanctuary or something to remember them by. My heart goes out to their loved ones during this time. This is another example to show us that we have to live our life and be grateful for the time we get with our loved ones, because we never know when it will be up.

 

Until next time,

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Permission to take a break.

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permission-to-have-time-offAs a stay at home mother, I rarely find myself having a full day off. As much as I love constantly being home with the kids, I can’t just call in sick or skip a day. It’s constantly full on and busy and there isn’t much time to just chill and relax. After about three years of sleep deprivation I found myself getting burnt out, exhausted and unmotivated.

(big shout out to all the single working mums! I don’t know how you do it! Amazing! I feel so stupid having any right to complain!)

Anyway, sleep deprivation can really mess with you and after such a long amount of time, I decided to give myself permission to occasionally take break. Sounds ridiculous but I can tell you it has one hundred percent made me a better mother. If I have a break, I feel recharged, motivated, positive, grateful and happy!

Here are a few things I do to give myself a break.

  • Daycare – every Wednesday the kids go to daycare, Alllll day! I drop them first thing in the morning and pick them up late in the afternoon. At first I felt major guilt. I thought it was cruel leaving the kids in daycare for eight hours but they absolutely love it! They learn so much and they have created some amazing bonds with their teachers and friends.

So on daycare days, I don’t do a thing in the mum department. I decided to take the whole day off. I do things that make me happy. Shopping, art classes, lunch with friends etc and the one promise I make myself, is to not do any housework or boring things. My cleaner comes once a fortnight on a Wednesday so the house is always spotless on that day! I don’t even cook dinner. I give the kids something basic like “breakfast for dinner” and then I don’t even have to do the dishes! It’s awesome. I’m so grateful I have a husband who doesn’t give me a hard time if I have a lazy day. He doesn’t even notice if the beds aren’t made, or if there are toys everywhere. I always catch up the following day but it’s just so good to not have to worry about the little things.

  • Time away – as a helicopter parent this was a really hard one for me. I sometimes take a night away with my mum. We have a nice dinner together, stay in Brisbane in a nice apartment, watch a show and just have some quality time. I also get a full eight hours of sleep so I always feel really recharged afterwards. I also miss the kids and Mike so it makes me appreciate them more.
  • Netball – when I was younger, netball was a huge passion of mine. I played for most of my life but when I started adulting, I just stopped! I was fearful of returning after having so much time off in case I hurt myself, but going back was the best thing for me. I now have something to look forward to one night a week and I get to socialise, exercise and recharge.

 

Even if you can’t manage big nights away or full days without the kids, I really recommend trying to find some ‘me’ time so you can recharge the batteries. Start a sport or hobbie, run a bath and read a positive book, have lunch with a girlfriend or walk around the shops by yourself. There are so many things you could do but most importantly…give yourself permission to take some time for yourself. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes and don’t like to ask for help, but putting ourselves first occasionally, makes us a better mum in the long run.

If you enjoyed reading this post and can relate, I’d love for you to share in the comments, some ways that you take time out for yourselves.

 

Until next time,

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Five things I have learnt since becoming a parent

dscf8160I was one of those people that never felt ready to become a parent. I always knew I wanted kids but never really backed myself. I had no idea what to expect or if I could handle parenthood. In the last few years, I have learnt so much about myself. I think I’ve grown and developed into a much stronger, calmer, compassionate person since becoming a mum and I thought I’d share a few key things I’ve learnt along the way.

  1. To be confident and brave.

I was always such a scared, anxious kind of person. I don’t think I will ever loose that part of me, however since becoming a mum I have really worked on becoming a more confident person. I know my two kids are always watching me and if I am scared, they will be too. If I show them that I am brave and out going, they will be more inspired to follow suit. I am well aware that Jack and Jaz are always learning from me. I realised that I needed to be a positive role model and set a really good example for them to follow. I don’t want them being too scared to try new things, or being afraid to put themselves out there in life. I’m always working on myself and I really hope the kids grow up with great self esteem and a real go getter, can do attitude!

     2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I would definitely call myself a perfectionist so I struggled when I first became a mum. I wanted the house to be spotless, my baby to sleep through the night, my washing to be up to date and the list went on and on! I have had to learn that not everything has to be perfect. I would much rather cuddle my baby when they need it and forget about the silly stuff. I always tell myself the kids are only small for a little while. So just try to remember to not worry so much about the little things that aren’t getting done. You’re keeping a tiny little human happy and alive and for that you’re doing a great job.

     3. Go with your gut.

Gut instinct is massive for me. I have had so many parenting wins by following my gut feeling including the birth of my little man Jack. If I didn’t follow my instinct with his birth, he would have ended up in a really bad way. (That’s a whole new story for a different post though). Most people have heard the saying ‘a mothers intuition’ and I truly believe it is one of the most powerful tools we can have as long as we pay attention and listen to it. I have ignored my instincts many times and it always ends up that I should have followed it. We need to back ourselves and trust that we know what’s right for our kids.

     4. Only run your own race.

Mothers are soooo competitive and at the start of my parenting journey I would find myself comparing Jack to the other babies around us. I would worry if he wasn’t reaching the same milestones, or doing the same things. How ridiculous is that? I think initially we doubt ourselves and we are so unsure of what we are doing that we are desperate to keep up. I am so different these days. It took Jack ages to be toilet trained but he got there. Jaz still doesn’t sleep through the night, but she will get there. Don’t worry about what others are doing. As long as you are happy and confident with your parenting and as long as there are no serious concerns, just know that your little one will get there at their own pace.

    5. Only take on the advice that’s best for you.

Becoming a parent is the most overwhelming experience and as you will find, many people will give you all sorts of advise. What you just have to try and remember is that people are coming from a kind place and to try not to take their opinions the wrong way. I have had many people give me parenting advise that I haven’t agreed with so I just brush it off and keep doing what I am happy with. No one knows your child like you do, so be confident you are doing the right thing. I parent a little bit left of centre, so I am constantly being given advise on what I should be doing. I am so happy with how my kids are turning out that I don’t really take much notice to the know it alls. In saying that, I am always open to learning new things and open to hearing new tips and tricks and I only take on board what is best for our family.

I hope these tips will help you in some way and if you know anyone about to become a parent, maybe you could share this with them. Feel free to comment with the one thing you have learnt since you became a parent. I would love to see what wins you’ve had along the way.

Until next time,

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Why my views on daycare have changed

img_3676When I became a full time stay at home mum I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to put my kids into daycare. I knew I wouldn’t have to work a regular job and I was excited that I could raise my kids without relying on others. I said I’d never put them into daycare. It’s funny how things change and how we develop as parents.

When Jack was about two, I started thinking about the pros and cons of daycare. I ended up putting him in one day a week to the loveliest early learning centre and the self growth he has achieved in the last couple of years has been amazing. Jack is a very anxious, shy boy and the thought of my first born being without me for eight hours was really hard to swallow at first. I am a self proclaimed ‘helicopter mum’, so all the fears and worries came in to my head. What would go wrong? What if he hurt himself? What if he was bullied? Bla bla bla!

I think the transition for us both was just as hard. Jack would cry and cling to me at drop off and I would leave him there thinking I was the worst mother in the world. It took me a long time to realise he was playing me…I had friends text me as soon as I walked out the door saying he stopped crying as soon as I left and was happily playing. Little bugger! He was always so happy when I picked him up, so that’s why I persisted. I knew he loved it.

During the first year I noticed Jack had developed in so many ways. He would learn so many new things at daycare and I loved the fact he was socialising and making friends.

The thought of sending such an anxious child into school for five days at a time without any daycare would be detrimental to his development so I am really glad we continued with it. Gradually increasing Jacks days at daycare will make it a much easier and less stressful time when school comes around.

Jasmine started attending daycare as soon as she turned two. I was quietly so excited because that meant I could have one full day a week for ‘me time’. Jaz is a totally different child. She practically runs off as soon as we get in the door and I find myself chasing her for a kiss goodbye. She loves it and loves making friends. I think it’s great too that kids learn to be disciplined and directed by other adults and learn to respect them as well as their peers.

Having one day off a week for myself has really helped me as a parent too. I look forward to Wednesdays each week because I get to catch up with friends, go shopping, attend a pottery class and it really recharges the mummy batteries for the rest of the week. I can’t recommend daycare enough for both children and parents. 

If you loved this post, feel free to share it with your friends.

Until next time,

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Is four too young to start school?

img_5118It feels like the last four years have gone so quickly. I have gone from rocking my four year old Jack to sleep as a newborn, to having to make some big decisions about his schooling and future. Where has the time gone??

So my first born is what you would call a sensitive child. He has always been some what cautious and a little anxious at times. He’s also charming and funny and a little cheeky so I find it to be a pretty good balance. He has struggled with separation anxiety and daycare drop offs haven’t always been fun…who am I kidding? They have NEVER been fun! He also struggles with change and takes a long time to adapt to something new. These reasons alone made me question if sending him to school next year would be a great idea or not.

I started asking around and many of my friends and family had regretted sending their kids early, also some said their kids were fine. I think it depends on each individual child.

Another factor is that Jack is a May baby so he would be one of the youngest in the year. If he had a different personality, this probably wouldn’t be an issue, but I feel that being the shy, anxious little man he is, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea starting him at four.

I think holding him back now while he hasn’t developed any real friendships or connections would also be much more beneficial than him having to repeat his first year of school. I could imagine spending five full days with the same kids would build some pretty tight friendships, so it would be tough watching them all move to another area and classroom.

I want Jack to be more self assured, more confident. I want him to be able to concentrate in class and to be able to follow instructions properly. I think in the extra year we have, Jack will also be able to develop his emotional maturity and also his anxiety wont be as challenging.

There are so many things to consider and the more research I have done, the more certain I am with holding Jack back a year. Who knows what will happen with Jasmine. She’s totally opposite to Jack so she will probably be begging me to send her to school! Obviously this is my personal opinion and each to their own. All kids are different but I thought I would share my two cents on the matter anyway! Who knows if it is the right thing to do but I am confident it’s the right choice for Jack.

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on this topic .

Until next time,

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Why I choose to take Dreamtrips!

img_2882About eighteen months ago, Mike and I were introduced to a holiday concept called Dreamtrips. We had no idea what it meant, but we liked the title and thought we would look further into it. Many of my friends have often asked in passing what Dreamtrips are all about but I thought I’d share a few key reasons of why we love this award winning travel concept.

Our very first Dreamtrip was a $69 cruise out of California. For that price we expected nothing more! We were stoked to be taking a cruise for that amazing price, when our last cruise cost over two grand each. (disclaimer: the cruise ended up being $89 each because we chose to upgrade to an outside cabin).

From the minute we got out of our shuttle to get on the cruise, the Dreamtrip kicked into gear. Each Dreamtrip you take, comes with your very own hosts. These hosts make your trip so much better. They are there for every need, advice on where to eat, places to see and they even help out with the kids. So our hosts were Gill and Cindy and as soon as they introduced themselves to us, they noticed Jack had a sling on. They immediately ushered us past the massive boarding lines of people, through a VIP entrance and we were on the ship, having our first cocktail within fifteen minutes. The hosts also sent us complimentary cookies for when we arrived in our room and they threw a massive VIP party with free drinks and stacks of prizes. From this holiday onwards, we were hooked on taking Dreamtrips, instead of normal holidays.

Another reason we love Dreamtrips is because almost everything is included. You don’t have to worry about organising excursions, check ins, transfers etc. It’s all sorted by Dreamtrips. It makes traveling so much easier.

The inclusions on a Dreamtrip are out of this world! When we took our Dreamtrip to Disneyworld we received the following inclusions for no extra cost: Free villa upgrade, from a two bedroom to three, $160 resort credit, daily breakfast, entry to Disneyworld including fast passes to skip the lines on a few rides. A VIP dinner at Planet Hollywood, and the kids were free. I can’t even remember what else was included but all of these extras were included in the one, cost effective package! Amazing!

The Hamilton Island Dreamtrip included: Airport transfers, a kite for the kids, a bottle of Moet, two dinners, breakfast each day, $200 resort credit, a trip to Whitehaven Beach and a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and the kids were free. I think you get the point!

The total cost of a Dreamtrip is often less than you would normally pay for accommodation alone so it is definitely worth it.

If you’re a member of Dreamtrips, I would love to see your comments on what you love about our trips or why you joined this awesome club.

I could go on and on about how amazing Dreamtrips are. If you haven’t taken one, you should really check it out. www.TimeToTravel.com.au

Until next time,

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An Open Letter To My Highly Sensitive Child

dscf8095Jack… you are my kind hearted, caring, shy four year old first born. It has taken me a little while to learn how to understand you. It has sometimes been a challenge being your mum, but you have taught me so much as a parent and because of you I am becoming a more compassionate, patient person and I am so grateful.

I used to worry about how your life would be. I worried that you would be too anxious and scared to make friends. I worried that you would be the child that got picked on at school. I worried that you would be too scared to speak to people and would struggle your whole life in social situations. One day, I just stopped worrying and realised that it was up to your dad and I to raise you and help you develop into the best version of yourself you can be. Just because you are sensitive, doesn’t mean you will struggle at all. I started to realise that you can be whatever you want to be. I promise you, we will always boost you up. We will always allow you to follow your dreams. If you are scared, we will encourage you to face your fears and become stronger. Being sensitive is a great quality. You will always be the kid that is compassionate. If someone falls, you will be the first person to help them up. You will always have your little sisters back. She will always have a big brother to look up to. You will always treat women with respect and you will be kind and caring.

I will continue working on your confidence and self esteem. Even though at four, you have no idea that each day I incorporate little things into your life that will help you to always believe in yourself and love the person you are. Each night we do our affirmations, I always add in ones that will specifically help you thrive and belive in yourself. I always make sure you get your time to speak, even though your sister is so full of confidence. I promise I will never let her over shadow you. Even though you are both so different, you are both as amazing and equal as each other.

Lastly, I promise to be brave and fearless. I know you are a lot like me and I was a scared, anxious person. I am working on this daily, constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone because I know you are watching me. If I show fear, you will be scared too. But if I show courage and confidence, I know you will see that and want to do the same.

Do not change for anyone Jack. People might tell you that you are too soft, or sooky, but they don’t know the real you. The Jack I know is kind, loving, funny, happy, loveable, cheeky and fun. I love you just the way you are and I am so proud to call you my son x