When I was 16

When I was 16

Hi guys,

Last week I celebrated my 33rd birthday with my family.

Mum and I celebrate our November birthdays!

It was a great time to appreciate the things you have like health, happiness, safety, and security.

When I reflected on how my life is… I started thinking about the time when I was 16yo.

Maybe you can relate.

When I was 16yo I remember lying on my bed staring at the ceiling in my room thinking… “what is my future going to look like?”

“I wonder when I’ll get married”

“I wonder what my husband will look like”

“Will I ever find the right guy?”

“I want to get married before I’m 25”

“25?? Wow… that’s SO old” ๐Ÿ™‚

“When will I start having kids?”

These questions continued on and off from when I was 16yo until well into my 20s.

Doing my traditional dance (ta’olunga) on my 21st birthday

I remember praying everyday that I would meet someone that would genuinely love me.

The real me.

The Belinda that blushes bright red when I have a simple conversation.

The Belinda that can’t spell too well.

The Belinda that is a simple home body.

The Belinda that works in a factory.

The Belinda that loves her family and supports her community.

The Belinda that is happy with the simple things.

I thank God everyday for the life I have but I had to put the intention out there for the universe to understand what I wanted in this life ๐Ÿ™‚

So as I reflect on my 33rd birthday I am grateful for all the things that I’ve experienced.

I’m now double the age from when I was staring into my bedroom ceiling as a 16yo and I smile about the things I was thinking about then and how I am now.

I have a loving husband, 2 beautiful children and we are happy and healthy in our own little house in the suburbs.

If I were to give myself advice knowing what I know now this is the Top 3 bits of advice I would say to 16yo Belinda:

  1. Be kind to yourself and don’t try and please everyone
  2. Be the person you want to attract
  3. Live your life today and don’t dwell in the past

Be kind to yourself and don’t try and please everyone

So here’s the thing.

As a hormonal 16yo all you want in the world is to be liked by everyone.

I know that trying to tell a teenager that everything you are going through, the things you’re feeling, the stresses of your school life, the pressure of you family life the weight of expectation you put on yourself… it’s all in your head.

Talk a breath and just relax.

The number one person to worry about and look after is you – 16yo Belinda ๐Ÿ™‚

The more you can improve yourself and learn from your experiences then the better adult you’ll develop into.

Trust me.

Be the person you want to attract

Let me tell you a true story.

Earlier I mentioned that every night when I was 16yo I’d lie in bed – I would pray to God to help me find the man of my dreams and to help me understand my future.

I don’t know if that was just a hope that something was going to happen for me or if there was some divine intervention that would deliver ‘prince charming’.

Anyway I prayed every night without fail.

Then I would go to sleep and wake up and continue on with what I was involved with. School, my Catholic community, many family events and celebrations.

Fast forward to when God brought Leki into my life my prayers have changed from helping me find myself and my future to being thankful and appreciative of the life I live now.

Thank you God for the blessings you have given me.

Live your life today and don’t dwell on the past

I have a past.

My husband Leki has a past.

That can be a limiting factor in some relationships because the past weighs heavy on what’s happening today.

Leki and I believe that trust is something that you spend a lifetime building and only takes a moment to lose forever.

We can move on to enjoy today and embrace tomorrow because we have learnt the lessons from yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s not a good or a bad thing – it is what it is.

I can’t control what’s already happened but I can control how I feel about things.

Live for today Belinda.

Well, that’s the messages I would give my 16yo self if I had the chance.

I remember the confusion, excitement and promise I had as a 16yo and even though I’m in my 33rd year I feel like I have more energy and expectations of myself now then I did then.

As they say – the only person you should be comparing yourself to is theย old you.

Love yourself Belinda and work on the things that make you happy.

Hmm.. I wonder what would the 50yo Belinda tell the Belinda of today?

Our daughter Emelina will be 21 and our son Kyneton will be 18.

Will we have more children?

Do we live in Gisborne still?

Am I happy?

Do I have my body still or have I let myself go with menopause ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll have to wait and see.

Do the things that make you happy.

With love,

Belinda xo

Babyproofing the Home

Babyproofing the Home

Hi guys,

Our little boy Kyneton is now 10 months and started crawling (finally)!

He has sticky little hands that like to explore all sorts of things around our home.

It’s been a couple of years since we last baby proofed the house when Emelina (3yo) was starting to be adventurous so we had to dust off all the protective equipment again.

Emelina had some falls off the couch onto the floor and some other near misses.

Although we believe that accidents can teach the kids a few lessons it’s never nice to deal with the tears ๐Ÿ™

So here are some of the major changes we will be making for little Ky:


Theย Montessori Method encourages children to explore their environment and to be curious.

In terms of bedding we will look to move Ky form his crib to a single mattress on the floor rather then a ‘big boy bed’.

Here’s what we decided to do sleeping wise with our kids:

  • Bassinet next to Mum and Dad for 3-6 months
  • Move kids to the crib in their own bedroom
  • Progress onto a single bed after 1 year

With Emelina (who’s now 3yo) we had here in the bassinet until 3 months and then in the crib in her own room.

Early morning fun with Ky and Eme

She was in her own ‘big girl bed’ by 12-14 months.

Kyneton was in the bassinet for 6 months as his sleep was more interrupted then Eme’s.

He’s now 10 months old and we will be planning his move to the single mattress on the ground in the next 6 months ๐Ÿ™‚


Like any household the kitchen is the biggest challenge with baby proofing.

Lots of draws and cupboards, cutlery and sharp objects, big heavy pots and pans, hot oven and liquids and poisonous things under the sink.

Based on our experience with Emelina she started walking around 12 months.

It’s also around this time that we started smacking Eme. Nothing too heavy handed just enough to correct her behaviour.

Magnetic locks are pretty handy in the kitchen!

So we were able to teach her where the hazards were.

We also had a few protective measures put in place.

We bought some cabinet locks and gated locks.

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You already know we love Aldi!

Living Room

Now that he’s started to crawl we just have to make sure there’s not too many small objects on the ground.

He’s like a little vacuum.

Everything goes in the mouth ๐Ÿ™‚

We let him crawl around the living room on the floor but monitor himย  as he explores his new environment.

Sometimes when he tries to open the TV stand cabinets to poke and play with wires we give his hand a little smack and say ‘No Kyneton’ in a serious tone.

He lets out a little cry and then looks a little confused.

He then reaches out for the cabinet door again and we repeat the little smack on this hand.

He’s beginning to learn that the smack is not very nice and playing with the cabinet door may not be a good idea ๐Ÿ˜‰


I wrote about one of my favourite purchases recently which I picked up off Gumtree.

It’s a baby bathing seat anchored to the bathtub via suction.

Ky really loves baths and looks forward to it but most of the time he showers with Leki.

Happy times ๐Ÿ™‚

Other then that either Leki or I are always with the kids in the bathroom so there’s always a pair of eyes around ๐Ÿ™‚

To be honest we are more relaxed the second time around.

The first time round with Emelina we were more fearful.

We still take care with how we let Ky explore the house but we aren’t as quick to his rescue.

He’s a pretty happy camper now that e’s crawling and we’re looking forward to when he’s on two feet and running around…

But not too soon.

With love,

Belinda xo

Bali vs Phuket

Bali vs Phuket

Hi guys,

Exciting post for you today as I’ll do my best to compare two very popular holiday destinations for Australians.

Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand.

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This is our personal experience and your results may vary although we had a heap of fun at both ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been fortunate to travel to both hotspots within 4 months of each visit earlier this year in 2018.

I’d like to present a comparison from the perspective of a family of 4 – Mum, Dad, 3yo Emelina and 9mo Kyneton.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚


Apart from accommodation – flights are the one of the biggest costs of a holiday.

Phuket in June 2018 for 10 days

  • Cost us $6,000 for a couple and 3yo (our 9mo was free)
  • Flew with Jetstar (although we had almost a year to plan this trip)
  • Flight was $2,600
  • Accommodation was $2,125
  • $1,500 for spending money

Bali in October 2018 for 6 days

  • Cost us $5,500
  • Flew with Garuda (we planned this trip in 2 months)
  • Flights were $2,116
  • Accommodation was $2,240
  • $1,000 for spending money

Garuda offered a full service and we definitely enjoyed the shorter 5 hour flight!

Jetstar was a struggle. Although it was clean and comfortable the 9 hour flight with 2 little kiddies was a massive buzz kill!

We were big fans of the food on the Garuda… not so much Jetstar ๐Ÿ™

Garuda to Bali is definitely the winner here!

Bali 1 – Phuket 0.



We stayed with my family at the Graceland Resort in the northern beaches of Patong (Thailand). It was clean, the staff were friendly and we were a short walking distance from everything you need like markets, food stalls, massage parlours and the beach.

We’ve just returned from Padma Resort Legian (Bali) and it too was clean and close to everything.

In terms of what both resorts offer – they have a lot of activities for families and the pool facilities were awesome.

I must say the pools, extra curricular activities and general set up of the Padma Resort wins out here again for our little family.

They have a fully staffed kids club where your kids aged 4+ can be supervised and entertained while making new friends as the parents relax and unwind.

The pool areas within the Padma was also superior.

There are 3 types of slides that kept our little 3yo Emelina very busy and Leki also had his fair share of fun too ๐Ÿ™‚

The entertainment and in-house restaurants offered within the Padma were great!

We participated in themed dinners like a Full Moon festival with cultural floor shows, a Japanese night and cuisine and a local Indonesian dinner.

Great memories!

The biggest kicker was the babysitting services available at The Padma Legian.

We hired 2 x babysitters through the Hotel to look after Ky and Eme for 3 hours while Leki and I finished off our shopping and got an hour long massage together ๐Ÿ™‚

Although we were a bit tentative we were relieved that it all went to plan and both Ky and Eme didn’t even notice we were gone!

Bali 2 – Phuket 0.


In Phuket we managed to visit the markets in Patong, Karon and Kata beaches. We also travelled to the night market only available on Friday nights.

I was able to fit a lot of fitness clothing, tops and sets for the kids, shoes and bags. The cost range from <$5 for an item (small tee shirt) to ~$40 for 4-6 items.

It was helpful to walk around with the calculator and dividing every Thai Baht number by 25 to convert to my Australian currency.

In Legian we visited the local market plus travelled to the bigger Kuta market.

Not as many things to buy compared to Phuket but the shop keepers were a lot less aggressive which I enjoyed.

Sure they want to make a sale but as you turn to leave they allow you to leave without trying to hassle you down the street like they did in Phuket.

I’d give this one to Phuket just because they have a larger range of things to buy.

Bali 2 – Phuket 1.


food thai [2]

Let me just start by saying that as a family we’re not super picky about what to eat.

We have preferences to eat things that are healthy and will give us energy rather then take our energy away (like sugar and bad carbs).

The great thing about both Bali and Phuket is the fresh food!

The fruit platters, fish, vegetables and juices are all freshly supplied by locals.

You can taste the difference and it gives you more energy to attack your day!

A little note – our 3yo Emelina developed a mild allergic reaction to (we think) satay or peanut sauce and we woke one morning in Bali to swollen eyes!

We were able to source some steroids (in liquid form) which quickly settled her symptoms after the Clarytyne didn’t help.

The major deciding factor for me were the readily available fruit and crepe stalls that are around every corner in Phuket.

In Bali you can order all sorts of drinks and food within a restaurant but I really missed the roadside carts.

Close one but I’ll give this one to Phuket ๐Ÿ™‚

Bali 2 – Phuket 2.


Both areas are prone to Mother Nature and drunk people.

In Thailand most of the recent ‘troubles’ have been in Bangkok not so much Phuket (which is a southern island).

I would say Phuket is definitely the busier night scene with dance bars and Bangla Road being a crazy part of Patong!

Bali is mostly a Hindu region but Indonesia is a 90%+ Muslim country.

Many Australians in both Bali and Phuket are respectful and courteous but there were some Aussies that didn’t do the right thing which reflected poorly on the rest of us.

End of year footy trips and the boys were getting to drunk and rowdy, others were bogans from the suburbs, some didn’t show any polite etiquette being plain rude.

I hope the locals understand that not everyone behaves like them!

The road traffic appears chaotic with cars driving in the opposite direction, bikes zooming and weaving between cars and people jumping out of nowhere to cross the road.

We saw the crazy traffic in both Phuket and Bali.

Although it seems random there is a sort of ‘give way’ courtesy that the drivers offer one another.

It’s like they know when they should wait and give way or when it’s their turn to move forward/turn. Funny to watch!

At the entrance to both Resorts (Graceland and Padma Legian) there’s always a security check and they verify every car and taxi that enters the resorts.

This always helps keep things in good order!

With all that said I felt safe in both locations.

Bali 3 – Phuket 3.


enetrtain thai [2]

If you’re after some night spots with a group of friends or a nice quiet drink with your partner Phuket would be my recommendation. It caters to all types of people.

We have travelled to Phuket as newlyweds, with a group of young adults and with a large group booking with many families and kiddies.

Thailand caters to all your entertainment needs.

Beach activities, family activities, adventure tours, relaxation, massage, bars and beaches it has you completely sorted.

I got the impression that Bali is a little more conservative with their way of life.

You can see it in the market stall vendors, the friendly staff that wait on you at a restaurant or the guys at Padma.

The Balinese just seem nicer.

There may be a lot of entertainment available in Bali but we didn’t see it.

We were happy to mostly stay within the Padma resort and be entertained there ๐Ÿ™‚

Given that we are a family of 4 and been to both locations I would call this one a tie.

But, if I was a single girl wanting a big week with the girls or travelling with a few friends and their partners I would most likely recommend Phuket just because there’s more to do.

If I was older and wanted more a relaxing holiday minus the hustle and bustle I would recommend Bali.

This one for me is a tie.

Bali 4 – Phuket 4.


It really depends on what you want.

Given that we will be in family mode for the next little while if the opportunity to go overseas presents itself we’ll most likely pickย Bali over Phuket.


A big factor is the 5 hour flight and it’s cheaper spending wise in Bali.

The flights and accommodation are pretty much the same unless you pick up a great deal ๐Ÿ˜‰

We don’t mind missing out on the adventure and party stuff for now – we’d prefer a nice family resort like the Padma Legian again in the future.

But, once the kids are old enough and it’s just Leki and I again… we may have to return to Phuket and have a party LOL

We’ll cherish this family time always.

With love,

Belinda xo

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.X)

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.X)

Hi guys.

Welcome to Episode #10 on my monthly weight loss journal.

It has been such a ride!

A quick summary so far:

  1. Baby no.2 born 3 Jan 2018 and I weighed in at 94.9kg
  2. First goal was to safely lose weight to 69kg by June 21 for our family trip to Thailand… ended up losing to pre-baby weight of 75kg… not a bad effort!
  3. Adjusted goal was to comfortably fit into a size 10 dress and be < 69kg by Christmas 2018

Well it’s 24 October 2018 as you read this and I’m currently 69.1kg!!

I’ve lost over 25.8kg in 10 months ๐Ÿ™‚


To give you more of an idea of how I battled the ups and downs over the journey you can read my month by month account below ๐Ÿ™‚

Episode #1 – Jan (4 days after baby #2)

Episode #2 – Feb (Losing the baby fat)

Episode #3 – Mar (Starting to hit the wall)

Episode #4 – Apr (Intermittent fasting and HIIT training)

Episode #5 – May (Lost 17.2kgs in 4 months!)

Episode #6 – June (Mission Accomplished!)

Episode #7 – July (New Goal)

Episode #8 – Aug (Positives & Negatives)

Episode #9 – Sept (The Main Struggles)

I have to be honest.

There’s been another reason why I’ve been wanting to lose weight.

It’s to fit nicely into a bikini while I’m in Bali.

When am I leaving?


Infinity pool at Padma Resort Legian

Yep, I jump on the plane with my family and we’re having a little getaway with my in-laws (my hubby Leki’s family) staying at the Padma Resort.

I’ll have more feedback for you about the resort and how we find Bali because we are big fans of Phuket (have been 3 times so far) and it’ll be interesting to see what the differences are from one to the other ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s new?

I like reporting on things that were helpful and challenges with my weight loss strategy.

It helps to keep me accountable by reporting things to you plus I like being able to review the story especially when I find things are difficult.

I’ve been fortunate to be on this journey with my husband and together we can ‘hack’ was works and what doesn’t work for us right now.

Lost 25.8kg and the last goal is to get into the size 10 summer dress for Xmas

So… I’ve reached all the goals I’ve set out since Jan 2018.

โ™ฅ I’ve lost weight

โ™ฅ The lovely size 10 summer dress is around the corner (no thanks to my frumpy pear shaped body)

โ™ฅ I’m in a bikini and feeling sexy

What now?

Well, after a little bit of thought about what I want to achieve next – here it is:

I want more energy

โ‡’ Energy to do things I want

โ‡’ Energy to be more patient when I’m frustrated

โ‡’ Energy to wake up and attack the day

โ‡’ Energy to take setbacks and bounce back to my feet

โ‡’ Energy to address some of my mental health worries like not feeling good enough

Who couldn’t do with more energy?

So how will I get more energy I hear you ask?

Here’s a little insight into how my husband and I will make it work:


Given that my husband Leki is very active with driving our health plan I’ve invited him to write about it. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚


I work in the health field as a physiotherapist and I can tell you that a love of learning can help.

I’ve always been a curious person and when I finished playing competitive sport as a 29yo I noticed that my health was not as sharp as it once was.

What made it worse was when we had our first child – Emelina – in 2015.

I knew drastic measures had to be taken and quickly as both Belinda and I were getting quite unhealthy!

Belinda has written about our first weight loss effort in 2015 – HERE.

So what are our couple goals 3+ years into our health journey?

My goals are about longevity and quality of life and Belinda’s is to have more energy to do the things she wants.

Down to 69.1kg just in time for Bali ๐Ÿ™‚

So how do we achieve these goals in a cost effective and timely manner?

With monitoring the quality of food that’s on our plate.

Let me explain.

Early on in our health loss plan our primary interest was to lose weight.

Now we have lost weight and both our bodies have achieved something called ‘adaptation’.

Adaptation means that our bodies are able to tap into multiple sources for energy consumption efficiently.

Our bodies can run on carbohydrates, fat and/or protein depending on what we have in supply.

If your primary energy source (food you eat) is from bread, wheat, rice aka gluten foods then your body’s primary fuel source is from carbohydrates/sugar.

If you subscribe to a low carbohydrate diet (paleo/keto etc.) then your body will be usingย fat/ketone bodies as your body’s fuel source.

There are many studies showing the benefits of a low/no carbohydrate diet producing benefits such as:

  • Clear thinking
  • Reduced appetite
  • Improved performance
  • More energy

Once we had the discipline to stick to our paleo/wholefood diet and then layer intermittent fasting on top of that we were able to achieve adaptation pretty quickly.

We can cycle in and out of being in a ketogenic state (using ketones as our primary energy source) because we have achieved appropriate adaptation.

For example, if we are ‘good’ for 5 days of the week from Mon-Fri then we can afford to refuel carbohydrates aka cheat meal(s) because our bodies are very efficient in using up the newly supplied carbohydrate energy source (over Sat-Sun) and then we can revert back to ketones over the working week.

I hope that makes sense.


To achieve our set goals of losing weight (Belinda) and longevity (Leki) we both agreed that it should be ingrained into our lifestyle.

It shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something we are excited about.

We are genuinely happy to prep our meals together.

Yes it can be repetitive and a drag spending 2 hours on a Sunday cooking meals but we look at it as a wise investment of time.

Investing 2 hours cooking on a Sunday will give us 4 hours of freedom every work day = 20 hours for the week to pursue whatever we want.

If you’re a stay at home Mum – think about the prep time to make lunch and dinner everyday… it takes a toll on you and your time doesn’t it.

After time well spent on the weekend all Belinda has to do is pre-heat our prepped meals and away she goes!

For me – I get to eat good nutritious food which will keep my mind and body happy plus I save money on spending on take away food.

Win/win really.

Another big part of our week is our exercise routine.

Granted, we both could be better with our efforts but we try and get regular movement going daily.

Belinda’s ranges from walking to the local park/shops for 1 hour or her home-based HIIT exercise program.

I really enjoy my body weight training and all the guess work is taken out of the equation as it’s a ‘plug and play’ type system.

I am a big fan of Gymnastic Strength Training. Check them out!

I’ve been doing home based body strength training since Oct 2017 and although my results are slow and gradual it has been very rewarding.

My traditional weaknesses of flexibility, upper body strength and balance is improving with each effort!

Belinda will aim to walk into town 1-2 per week depending on the weather and continues her 10-min HIIT session 3-4 times per week.

Her program consists of 3-4 different exercises and she goes at 80% intensity for one full minute until the timer goes off and continues her circuit of 3 exercises until the 10 mins is up!

My gymnastics training alternates during the week.

Following the online schedule I spend 4-5 x 30 mins blocks of effort per week.

So I might work on some upper body and core based exercise progressions for 30 mins on Mon morning.

Then work on trunk and lower body work using the Olympic rings on Tues night.

Wed morning session for the upper body and core again with a rest on Thurs then lower body and rings on Fri night.

Depending on how quiet the weekend is I’ll maybe do an additional block.

The key thing with gymnastic training is that form and consistency is the primary goal! I’m looking forward to showing you my progressions over time!


We continue to track our daily weight on the scales and this helps give us some measure of the trend.

In the early days of our weight loss journey the number on the scales was very important to us.

Now not so much.


Belinda has achieved her target of being 69kg now (just in time for Bali).

Plus I’ve been happily around the 84kg mark for over 6 months and steady.

It’s more aboutย how we feel now!

106kg down to 84kg – 22kg lost! Happy days

In order to accurately measure ketones I spent $80 buying a blood monitor with ketone + glucose strips to monitor my blood reading daily.

This can help us understand how our body reacts to certain food and how our lifestyle affects our ‘insides’.

At the moment I measure my blood readings first thing in the morning and I keep a spreadsheet on what the numbers are daily. That’s keeping track of my weight, ketone and glucose readings.

Over time I will start to take measurements before and after my standard meals throughout the day and see how the levels spike or stabilise depending on what I’m eating.

Fun times ahead!

To summarise we want let you know we enjoy trying to stay in good shape. Both inside and out!

But we also acknowledge that it comes with a time and pocket cost.

Both Belinda and I believe that putting time in NOW and spending money NOW on our health and education which will benefit us NOW and in the FUTURE.

What do I mean?

Because being in poor health – TAKES your time and it TAKES your money both NOW and in the FUTURE.

Looking forward to the next monthly update and I hope you’re all happy and healthy wherever you are!

But for now – Bali here we come.

Yours in health,

Leki, Belinda, Emelina and Kyneton

Child Development

Child Development

Hi guys,

Today I thought I would write about how I’m observing my kids develop over time.

Kyneton is 9 months old

Our little Island boy


He’s still been a struggle with short naps throughout the day (averaging 30-60 mins 2-3 times per day) and wakes 3-4 per night (5-10 mins each time for comfort feeding).

Not much progress here other then maybe getting some relief with topping up my breastfeeds with formula after he’s 1yo.

Body Movements

He’s getting around very happily with his walker but is a very lazy crawler. He can hold his head comfortably while lying on his stomach and looks side to side especially when he sees me and he’s hungry ๐Ÿ™‚

He can sit independently now although when he starts to lean one way too far he hasn’t learnt to correct himself and sometimes falls over.

All smiles ๐Ÿ™‚

Spatial Awareness

Ky is still learning about potential hazards and doesn’t understand the risks he takes… yet.

We do know that he learns from pain.

Like playing is a toy then he jams his fingers which causes him pain. Or putting his fingers in my mouth and then I lightly chew on his fingers. The next time he tries and sticks his fingers in my mouth he’s more careful and avoids it! Smart little cookie monster. ๐Ÿ™‚


I am absolutely blessed that Kyneton doesn’t appear to have any allergies and enjoys most foods we give him.

We alternate his breakfast as we previously documented and he eats a smaller portion of what we eat throughout the day.

He loves his little water bottle and looks forward to his morning booster shake with Eme and I ๐Ÿ˜‰


It’s a bit early to talk about how we discipline Ky because we don’t really know what to do.

Apart from telling him “no” to certain things – like when he bites my nipples when feeding, or if he’s clawing out at other kids, trying to push away food because he doesn’t want to eat etc.

We are looking to start smacking Ky around the 12 month mark.

Nothing heavy handed, just a flick of the fingers if it’s unsafe or a tap on the bum if he’s doing something dangerous.

It seemed to work with Eme and we’ll observe how it goes with Ky until we can hold a simple conversation and when we can start him in our local Montessori school at around 18-24 months.

Emelina is 3yo

Visiting Nani and Papa


Eme is a dream when she’s asleep at night. She can power through pretty much uninterrupted from 8:30pm to 7am most days. Some days if it’s been full on she may have a nap in the car driving about and can close her eyes for 1-2 hours if it’s really needed.

We have found that when she watches some programs on TV/ABC Kids or sees something on the ABC kids app on the iPad she can start ‘seeing things’ during ourย wind down time.

She can be a struggle to put down to bed because there are ‘monsters around’.

This may happen 1-2 per week. Leki and I try and remain strong to avoid her sleeping in bed with us so we often resort to lying in bed with her to calm her down, read a couple of books and then creep out quietly once she’s fallen asleep.

Our ideal night routine involves tucking her into bed snugly, saying her nightly prayer and blessing her family then she has a stack of books next to her that she reads.

Often after 15-20 mins she’s fall asleep with the books lying flatly on her face. We’d then return the books to the shelf and switch off her night lamp and then we’re free ๐Ÿ™‚

Eme’s local gymnastics school


Eme has almost completed her first full year of gymnastics. She loves it!

I remember watching her in the early lessons and she would not listen to the teacher.

She struggled to follow instructions.

Fearful of climbing horizontal ladders and scaling the ladder wall. She also had a hard time following the other students because she was one of the older kids in her class and the ‘smaller kids’ were struggling to perform the tasks properly.

Fast forward 6 months – she’s improved so much.

A lot less fearful of the obstacle course. She can keep her balance on a beam much better and can swing, hang and jump without too much trouble!

We are so proud ๐Ÿ™‚


Eme is doing a lot better on the discipline front.

A lot of her development is due to our self-education.

We have reduced our need for smacking and started to talk more about her feelings. We have found that sometimes she screams because she’s in pain or she’s angry or that she’s scared. But to us all we hear is the ‘scream’.

So before we jump the gun and assume it’s always the ‘same’ scream we ask what’s she’s feeling and try to describe it.

For example – in the morning if it’s cooler then normal we ask Eme to put on her robe. When she’s trying to put her arm through the sleeve she used to scream. We would then ask her to try and explain what’s wrong and she’d usually say:

‘Arm stuck… please Mama help.”

Or another example is when she’s not listening when we ask her to do something. Like putting toys away she either ignores us or doesn’t respond. Instead of making her feel unsafe and scared by smacking her we would speak to her at eye level rather then talking down to her and explain why we need her to pick her toys up.

If she listens then she’ll do what we ask. If she continues to be difficult we then send her to her room to sit it out for 10 mins.

After a while she realises that all she had to do was do as we ask and then she can continue to have fun instead of sitting in her room bored.

We’ve noticed the next time she is asked to do something – she pauses and thinks for a couple of seconds – and then does what we ask. We think it’s because she doesn’t want to be banished to her room again ๐Ÿ™‚

Discipline is always a work in progress.

Eme’s Montessori School

Montessori Report card

We have been enjoying Emelina’s progress through her Montessori school.

HERE – is Eme’s mid term report to give you an idea of how our little 3yo is developing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Leki and I find this report as a fantastic guide for how we can developing our parenting style.

It’s on our Montessori teacher’s recommendation that we explore Emelina’s understanding of feelings so that we can help guide her development.

As always – it’s a work in progress for Emelina and ourselves as parents!

I plan to update the development of the kids every 6 months.

It’ll be to document how they grow and change over time which seems small and insignificant but over time they change SO MUCH!

For example in the week that I was away from Eme (in Tonga for my Grandma’s funeral) she had seem to grow so fast in those 7 days.

Similarly Leki observed that Ky had more hair, 2 new teeth poking through the gums while being overseas.

We’ll continue to hold our kids close before they think they’re too cool to be around us ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Leki 33yo, Eme 3yo, Ky 9mo and Belinda 32yo ๐Ÿ™‚

With love,

Belinda xo

The Last Grandparents

The Last Grandparents

Hi guys.

I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar for the last 2 weeks.

On Thursday 27 September 2018 my last surviving grandparent – my Mum’s mother passed away peacefully in Tonga aged 87.

grandma tongaa
Rest in Peace Grandma Taina

We celebrated her life with a Melbourne family vigil at my parents house on Sunday 30 September 2018.

Grandma Taina was the matriarch of our large Family, loved our local Catholic School, was loved by her village of Ma’ufanga and leaves behind many relatives with broken hearts.


4 days later on Monday 1 October 2018 my husband Leki also lost his last surviving grandparent – his Mum’s mother! She too was aged 87 and passed away peacefully with family around her in Melbourne.

Rest in Peace Grandma ‘Iunisi

Unbelievably we had both Grandma’s pass away within days of each other.

I would like to share my thoughts as this is still very fresh for me as I’ve just returned from Tonga and saying goodbye to my Grandma Taina.

I left for Tonga with my sisters, Mum and my Aunty on Tuesday morning (2 October) only 6 hours after hearing of Leki’s Grandma ‘Iunisi passing on.

I travelled to Tonga with our 9 month old son Kyneton and Leki stayed in Melbourne with our 3yo Emelina.

When we arrived to our village in Tonga with the Bosco Hall decorated with Grandma Taina’s pictures, mats and cultural items I felt so overwhelmed with grief and sadness.


The rush of getting to Tonga and trying to manage my son distracted me from what was actually happening… until I walked into the hall.

Mum was crying beyond control, the community were singing hymns, prayers were offered, relatives were inconsolable and I was heart broken.

Into the next few days from Wednesday to Friday there were a lot of formal events and gatherings at the family home and in the Bosco Hall which was a great opportunity to catch up with everyone.

There were more arrivals from overseas over these couple of days which set off another round of crying, consoling and comforting each other in our grief!

By Friday Grandma Taina was being prepared for her final journey to rest with my Grandfather ‘Amato who passed away 14 years ago.


There was a long march from the house to the local Catholic Cathedral led by the ‘Api Fo’ou school band and after her final prayer and blessings from the Priest.

Grandma Taina was then carried by her grandsons to her final resting place.

While I was overseas in Tonga, Leki’s family was preparing for the funeral and burial of Grandma ‘Iunisi.

Her final viewing was on Thursday 4 October and Leki’s family organised a closed family affair.


Grandma ‘Iunisi wanted to rest with her husband and Leki’s family honoured her final wish.

After her viewing in Melbourne she was transported to Adelaide to rest with Grandpa Sione Na’a after he passed away 21 years ago.

Here is a tribute made by Leki’s brother for their Grandma – ‘Iunisi Fiefia.

Although this is a tough time for our families we are encouraged by the fact that they lived long and full lives.

They were able to see their children grow, have grandchildren and spend time with great-grandchildren which is such a great blessing!

Sending you all our love.

Rest in Love – Grandma Taina and Grandma ‘Iunisi.

We will miss you terribly and you’ll forever be in our hearts!


Belinda, Leki, Emelina and Kyneton xo


Here is the footage of my Grandma Taina’s funeral:



[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.VIII)

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.VIII)

Hi guys.

I’m in the 9th instalment of my monthly well being story and I summarise my results every month – check out the story so far:

Episode #1 – Jan (4 days after baby #2)

Episode #2 – Feb (Losing the baby fat)

Episode #3 – Mar (Starting to hit the wall)

Episode #4 – Apr (Intermittent fasting and HIIT training)

Episode #5 – May (Lost 17.2kgs in 4 months!)

Episode #6 – June (Mission Accomplished!)

Episode #7 – July (New Goal)

Episode #8 – Aug (Positives & Negatives)

To be honest it is a struggle to bring you new information because the theme is still the same.

I’m trying to lose weight.

I’m currently 69.5kg which is AWESOME as my target was to reach 69kg by the time I fly away to Bali on 24 Oct and fit into a size 10 dress by Christmas.


What’s new?

Not to sound ungrateful but I’m struggling BIG TIME!

So much so that I find it helpful to put my main struggles down so I can work on them.

  1. SLEEP


Our newborn son Kyneton is 9 months and is a terrible little sleeper… compared with our 3yo daughter Emelina.

He’s down at 8pm, gets up for a feed at 10pm, cries for some comfort at 1am and again at 3am before the morning hang out time with my hubby Leki at around 6am.

This might be the ‘normal’ routine for some babies according to the local health nurse but it’s such a difference from Eme.

She slept all the way through the night from 8pm to 8am.

I just assumed that he’d be the same – guess again!

Something I’m looking to play with is expressing for bottle feeding.

I’ve been slack in trying to express after each feed so I can feed him with the left over when he’s hungry or so Leki can help.

Another thing I need to think about is the food Ky eats. He now eats what we do but it’s mashed through our Vitamix blender.

If I can get him ‘full’ with food and then load him up on breastmilk then I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that he’ll be more settled at night and I can get my sleep!

I’d really love your advice on what works for you if baby isn’t sleeping too well at night! Send me a message on Messenger please – love to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚


It is the SAME THING I keep complaining about.

I just get lazy when I start thinking about any type of exercise.

In my mind I think that I’ve been busy enough for the day and if I’ve been really good and disciplined with my food then I’ll be ok.

I know my hubby Leki keeps reminding me of the other health benefits of regular exercise even in small doses.

But, again, I always think it’s such a bother.

Some people struggle with the food discipline but that’s the easy part for me.

I’d probably struggle to exercise even 1-2 times a week at this stage.

What’s your exercise routine? Is it something that you just love to do and look forward to everyday?ย Little help! I’d love to hear what works for you hit me up! ๐Ÿ™‚

Clothes Shopping


I have always hated clothes shopping.

I have this figure that’s frumpy around the waist but skinny in the arms and legs. Pear shaped is what they say. I’ve written about my struggles with online shopping because of my funny body shape – HERE.

Well, as you know I’m going over to Bali in late-Oct with my in-laws and I’ve been slowly getting some summer clothes and swimsuits to take over!

What a struggle!

Trying to fit into something that makes me feel sexy and not reveal my unflattering parts (tubby stomach and muffin top) is always a challenge.

On top of that having an active 3yo and a sooky 9 month adds a bit more difficulty trying dresses on in the little cubicles.

Part of my weight loss journey is toย feel good but in all honesty the majority of my efforts is toย look good!ย 

When I get an outfit that I like and I snap a quick picture to send to Leki I know he’ll tell me the truth. If it’s ugly he’ll tell me, if it makes me look fat he’ll tell me and if he likes it he’ll give the green light ๐Ÿ™‚

I like shopping at the big retail shopping centres so I can have a good look around and try things on. My go to is usually KMart, Target and Forever New for everyday things but for nicer dresses I like Myer.

Where do you shop? Let me know if you found a place that good for frumpy Pear shaped ladies! Where are my pear-shaped ladies at ๐Ÿ™‚


Now 69.5kg!!!


I’d like to lose another 2-3kg and be around 67kg heading to Christmas!

After Christmas on Jan 2019 I would have kept this weight loss journal for ONE WHOLE YEAR! Read my very first edition on Jan 2018 which was 4 days after I gave birth – HERE.

Wow, what a ride.

But for now… the struggle continues ๐Ÿ™‚




With love,

Belinda xo

Sick On Holidays

Sick On Holidays

Hi guys,

Short post from me today.

I got sick while on a little family trip over the weekend.

We left on Friday afternoon after my husband Leki finished work and arrived to the Bellarine Big 4 site at around 3:30pm.

We had pre-cooked a lot of our meals, packed a lot of our usual goodies and had been prepared to have some quality R&R time.

We spent Friday maximising the sunshine because the forecast for Saturday was rain and grey clouds ๐Ÿ™

Eme jumped on the trampoline, made new friends at the playground and we went for a nice swim together.

We then warmed our pre-prepped meal and had our dinner together at 7pm.

Later that Friday night I got violently sick.

Vomited 3-4 times, had the runs and achy joints all night. The works!

Woke up on Sat and the batteries were very flat! Btw #NotPregnant

I’m still not sure what caused my reaction.

I was the only one that fell ill.

Leki, Eme and Ky were all fine so I can’t really blame our food – which we all ate.

Leki seems to think that I picked up a bug somewhere that only I was susceptible to. As a result I was the only one that fell sick ๐Ÿ™

Ky was upset wanting to be fed but I managed to breastfeed him 3-4 for the whole day as per usual!

Eme and Leki were pretty good making use of the family park even though the weather was pretty cold and rainy. He took the kids out for almost 4 hours to give some time to rest.

I didn’t plan on getting sick so I didn’t pack any medical supplies – not even panadol. I’m usually pretty good with remembering to bring some things but didn’t on this trip for some strange reason.

So here’s what we did to ensure I bounce back quickly.

I rested and slept for nearly all of Saturday.

Leki bought activated charcoal and probiotics to assist with my recovery.

The activated charcoal was mixed with a cup of water and taken with an empty stomach (didn’t want to eat anything at that stage).

Believe me it doesn’t look that nice but I knew it was going to help my upset stomach so down the hatch it went!

I wouldn’t say that I felt better straight away but it did seem to calm the rumbling in my stomach.

Leki and Eme both took some of the activated charcoal with water as a safety measure.

My understanding of activated charcoal is that it binds with all the nasty toxins in your stomach/guts so the body can get rid of it more effectively.

The probiotic has some ‘healthy/friendly’ bacteria to help repair the intestinal wall and fight the ‘bad’ bacteria.

Again, no immediate relief but every little bit counts.

It makes me think what I would have done if I was unwell and at home.

I may have gone to the local GP and she may have prescribed an antibiotic to kill the bacteria in my gut.

Sure, it would have fixed the problem but the issue with antibiotics is that it kills ALL bacteria. Both good and bad bacteria in your gut. So I try and avoid it unless I really need it to save me ๐Ÿ™‚

So the rest of Saturday was pretty boring for me anyway. Mostly staying indoors while Leki took the kids to the local shopping centre, watched a movie at the park’s indoor cinema and playing outside.

By Saturday night I had recovered enough to eat something.

By Sunday morning I had recovered 80% and was able to enjoy the rest of our little trip especially the beach walk at Ocean Grove.

This had been a timely warning for me as we prepare for a little trip to Bali in late-October and I’d hate to fall sick over there!

I’ll be doing some research and become more knowledgeable about things to prepare before a trip to ensure my family stays healthy!

With love,

Belinda xo



[UPDATE] Morning Routine

[UPDATE] Morning Routine

Ok here we go!

I’m going to show you how our usual morning routine looks.

I first wrote about this topic 18 months ago. A LOT has changed. We’ve moved house, changed some of our food habits and had baby no #2. Read about it – HERE.

It’s always a work in progress but this is how it is 80% of the time in the average week.

It’s really my husband Leki that drives the mornings because I’m up a couple of times over the night depending on how our 8 month son Ky is sleeping. Our 3yo daughter Emelina sleeps like a champion ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’ve invited my husband Leki to write this blog and how he manages it all until I can drag myself out of bed ๐Ÿ˜‰


Howdy everyone.

My mornings usually start around 4:30am to 6:30am depending on Ky’s sleep.

If Ky’s last feed was at 8pm then he usually needs a few short 5-10min nursing moments at 2am-3am. (Belinda does a great job as I’m knocked out cold).

So let’s say he’s up 5:30am.

I’d spend time with him in the morning as I usually get up at 4:30am. (I practice biphasic sleep which allows me to wake early)

So between 4:30am-7am I’ve got 2.5 hours to myself to read, study and think. Plus when my son wakes up I can spend some quality time together because my work hours are usually 9am until 8pm.

I really enjoy the mornings because that’s the only time during the week where we are all together. During the day I’m working and Belinda and kids have their own schedule to keep.

Some families sit down over dinner together.

Our family meal is in the morning.

I eat lunch and dinner at work and Belinda and our kids eat at home.

Because we bulk prep on Sunday’s we are pretty organised for the working week with the main meals.

My job is to ensure we have our quality morning routine which is preparing a hot breakfast at 7am.

It takes me 30-45mins to organise.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • 3 x lightly pan fried eggs for Belinda and I plus Eme and Ky have 1 x lightly pan fried egg each cooking in coconut oil
    • baby spinach
    • asparagus
    • avocado
    • grass fed butter
  • Belinda’s breastmilk booster shake which Eme and Ky also have
    • almonds
    • flax seeds
    • MCT oil
    • coconut water
    • oats
    • chia seeds
    • banana
    • ground cinnamon powder
  • Belinda’s boobie cookies and fenugreek supplement
  • Water and lemon water with apple cider vinegar
  • Bulletproof coffee (blended together)
    • MCT oil
    • 1 tablespoon of ground coffee
    • grass fed butter

I cook with Ky watching me in the pram and then Eme usually gets up at 7:30am because of the noise.

Ky is ready to have his morning feed from Belinda at 7:30am and when Eme rises I get her to wake up Mama for breakfast.

I then spend 15 mins getting ready for work and then we sit down for a good 20 mins together to eat a nice hot breakfast.

Eme says grace and then down the hatch ๐Ÿ™‚

Breakfast Breakdown:

Eme and Ky have 1 x pan fried egg each (as described above) with a bit of the smoothie along with water.

Belinda has 3 x eggs with a glass of water, boobie smoothie, a fenugreek supplement and boobie cookies. (Remember Belinda has fasted from 4pm the day before so she’s hungry in the morning)

I make the 3 x eggs but I pack it to have with my lunch.ย  I add the eggs together with my pre-prepped lunch around 1:30pm and I eat dinner at around 6pm. (I fast from 6pm to 1pm the next day) At breakfast I drink hot lemon water with apple cider vinegar then 15 mins later I enjoy my Bulletproof coffee.


I hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into our usual morning routine.

It’s not really important what we do or what we eat in the morning.

The point of the post today is actively setting the time to be there for each other in the morning.

I think it’s important to spend as much family time together daily even if it’s only for a short time.

There will be a time that our kids will be ready to move out of our home and be independent young adults.

At that time Belinda and I will wish to be able to sit down over breakfast one more time together as a family. (Belinda wrote an awesome post about this earlier – read about it here)

We are all busy but we activelyย try and prioritise our mornings to spend quality time together and be happy.

To your happiness,


Traveling woes!

Traveling woes!

The problem with holidays is the preparation, bad enough if you are a solo traveller but many times worse if partner and children are involved. First is the decision of what each member of the family believes to be essential for their future comfort and happiness. I was reminded of this yesterday while waiting to be served at the bakery. A four year old child watched in disbelief as the last chocolate donut (with sprinkles) was handed over to ANOTHER PERSON. He screamed โ€œ No! Thatโ€™s my donut. Mummy thatโ€™s my donut! Why has that woman got MY donut?โ€

He was outraged and obviously angry that his mother had not snatched it out of the hand of the woman who had taken HIS donut. His embarrassed mother tried to shush him and distract him by offering all the other delights on display. He wasnโ€™t having a bar of it and sobbed even more loudly as each delicious treat was offered. Didnโ€™t his mother understand that a chocolate donut (with sprinkles) was the only cake or biscuit acceptable?

I couldnโ€™t help wondering if this occurrence marked a turning point in his relationship with his mother…..obviously she was not the all-powerful woman he had believed her to be. In later life would he talk about the horror of that moment ?

My two older sons still speak in hushed voices of the time they were left for an hour in the Royal Womenโ€™s Hospital crรจche while I attended a prenatal clinic….their sense of abandonment still lingers forty years later. Many would find that laughable compared with so many who are in childcare constantly but to them it is very real.

How many parents have accidentally left behind that essential item their child cannot live or sleep without. We left Oggy Doggy on a fence post more than an hourโ€™s drive away and when we realised managed to obtain another one identical to the original. Was our child happy? No he was disgusted. Didnโ€™t we know Oggy Doggy smelt different?

A friend decided to let her child pack her own bag rather than face the inevitable arguments only to find sheโ€™d packed books, pencils and socks but no shoes other than the sandals she was wearing, no underwear at all and no tops. Neither was happy but the child did learn consequences.

And letโ€™s not forget the adult male in the mix…..always insist he packs for himself!!!!