Houston, We Have A Thumb Sucker!

Houston, We Have A Thumb Sucker!

Hi Mamas,

Our 16 month son Kyneton is a thumb sucker πŸ™

Reviewing where we’ve been, he was breastfed for 12 months and was comforted with a dummy around this time too.

He didn’t suck his thumb at that point.



Rewinding the timeline a little further we started introducing the mashed solids at 8 months to compliment breastfeeding.

Still no thumb sucking.

Later, we introduced bottle feeding with formula after 12 months of breastfeeding.

He was eating solids, having a bottle in the morning and night and was completely off the dummy by 13 months.

It’s around this time I noticed Ky was starting to suck his thumb.


We didn’t place a lot of urgency in trying to get Ky off his thumb and we let it slide.

He’s now 17 months old and uses his thumb to nurse himself to sleep.

When he’s watching TV or just sitting about we’ll find him with his left thumb in his mouth sucking furiously.

After some initial half hearted effort we just swiped his hand away form his mouth but after we disappear we come back to him again relaxing sucking his thumb.


Our first go to action is to out apple cider vinegar on his thumbs.

As a back up solution I have purchased some nail solution from Chemist Warehouse πŸ˜‰

The idea with both is to discourage him sucking his thumb because it tastes yucky.

I’m afraid that Ky might affect his teeth with the thumb sucking.

I’ll let you know how we go with the next update in a couple of months πŸ™‚

Fingers and thumbs crossed!

With love,



Husband Is Away For 2 Weeks

Husband Is Away For 2 Weeks

Hi guys,

My husband is travelling with work to Europe for 12 days.

He’s been gone for 5 days already and it’s been difficult without his help πŸ™

Being 3 months pregnant and having 2 little kids to manage has been challenging but I’m really fortunate because I have supportive family to help me through.


I’ve been home alone to run the house and if you’ve followed my story, my husband Leki is responsible for our morning routine in our little house.

I am understanding how hard it can be for women who are home alone with their kids while their husbands are Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) or in a professional trade where they are away for long periods of time.

I remember when I was a child my Dad who’s a plumber sometimes was away for a week because the job needed them far away for a short time.

As a kid I missed my Dad but I never thought about how much my Mum had to work to keep the family afloat.


I’m at the other end with my husband away and I’m wondering what my kids are feeling with Dad being away, not cooking breakfast, not being there to be the playful Dad, not being there to help with the wind down routine at the end of our day.

Its a big change for my little guys πŸ™

This is a short post appreciating what our husbands do for us and acknowledging Mums who regularly drive their household while their husbands are away.

I can’t wait for Leki to come back because I miss him but also because I appreciate the work we do together in raising our children together.

Come back to us safely!

We love and miss you.

Belinda, Emelina, Kyneton and Baby

These Are The Good Old Days!

These Are The Good Old Days!

Hi guys,

Sad post for you today.

I miss you Grandma πŸ™

I got a notification off my Facebook feed that this time last year my Grandma Taina visited us in Australia from Tonga.

Around this time of year (every year) from March to May Grandma Taina would stay with us in Melbourne with her 3 month ‘visitors visa’ and enjoy her time with extended family.

She would be with my Mum for most of her stay at her home in the north of Melbourne.

My older sister would often take her to bingo with other ladies to try her luck πŸ™‚

My other sisters would drop in with their kids (Grandma Taina’s great-grandchildren) and spend time with her.

China Bar celebrating my Dad’s 60th in 2015

Grandma Taina would then visit her sister who lives in Melbourne, nieces, nephews and extended relatives.

Then… I would host her with my little family and she would stay with us for a week.

I really cherished that time together because we spoke in a language that only love knows.

You see, I wrote this blog post LAST YEAR about wishing I could communicate with my Grandma because I can’t speak my native language well at all.

And now Grandma Taina is resting in Tonga after passing away in Sept 2018 πŸ™

At Kyneton’s Baptism in May 2018

Oh how I wish I had more time with her!

I wish I could just talk with her one more time.

Have her sing to me or playfully tease her great-grandchildren or see her grin when she’s watching the kids play in front of her.

I miss her so much πŸ™

Leki and I talked about this and we realised that there’s two sides to everything after he saw this awesome video from Ryan Daniel Moran.

With baby Eme in Mar 2015

There are problems we feel in the moment and there are positives that we think about in the rear view mirror.

WeΒ feel the problems and weΒ long for the positives.

We rarelyΒ pauseΒ to appreciate the positivesΒ while we’re still in them and instead we just experience them later.

And we get this experience of the times that “used to be”.

Now we both have siblings and we don’t spend 24 hours a day thinking about how much I love and appreciate them.

But… if anything ever happened to any of them all I would ever want is to have my sibling back.

So we saw that there are things in our lives that we can sometimes overlook thatΒ if there were taken away from me it would be the thing I longed for the most.

NYE in Footscray 2015

Like the time when my 1yo son is screaming at night in bed.

If anything ever happened to him, all I would ever want would be to comfort a screaming baby.

Or the time when I was 19yo and thinking that I was overweight and unhappy.

But now I wish I had that 19yo body because pushing out my kids has given me a waistline that I’m always working on πŸ™‚

If Leki and I have an argument about something and we don’t talk for a little while to let things simmer down is another example.

But, if anything ever happened to him all I’d want to do is have the chance toΒ just talk to him again.

We rarely, if ever, pause to appreciate the things that are already in our lives that weΒ could be grateful for until it’s too late.

But, you get to control whether you consciously appreciate the things in your life or focus on problems until much later when you have this sense of longing for ‘how things used to be’.

Right now I’m focused trying to be happy and reducing my stress.

Sometimes I’m in the happy place but other times I’m in the tough place and I quickly forget all the things I should be grateful for.

After Church in Kyneton with baby Ky πŸ™‚

I know someone may be looking at my life and wishing they could have just a little slice of all the things I take for granted.

Just like when I look at someone else’s life and think how I wish those things for my life.

No matter who you are, or what you have or don’t have I can promise you there is someone else looking at your lifeΒ longing to be in your situation.

Even to be in the situation right now that you see as a problem!

No matter who you are or where you are you have some much to be thankful for and appreciate.


I miss you so much Grandma Taina and I appreciate all the time we spent together.

Even though it’s only been 6 months that you’ve gone to rest I think of you everyday and celebrate your life with our Family.



Grandma in Kyneton πŸ™‚ RIP.

‘Ofa lahi atu Grandma. I miss you πŸ™

Forever in my Heart.

Belinda xo

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

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

Hello everyone.

This is the last time I’ll post my weight loss journey.


Because I’ve achieved my goal of being 69kg and maintaining it.

My adjusted goal of fitting a size 10 dress will be something I’ll continue to work on which I’ll share with you down the track πŸ™‚

But for right now here’s a recent photo where Leki and I attended a friend’s wedding in early December.


Not quite a size 10 dress but it is a dress I last wore in 2014 which makes me feel good that it still fits me πŸ™‚

Review the story here:

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)

Episode #10 – Oct (The Bali Body)

Episode #11 – Nov (More Energy)

I will be continuing to shine the light on this theme of reducing my stress and increasing my happiness in 2019.

Today I will review my New Year Resolutions I set late last year πŸ™‚

What’s new?

In December you start to think about 2019 and what you hope to do and achieve.

This time last year I wrote a blog post about Fear Setting.

My Top 3 Fears heading into 2018 were:

  1. My baby boy being born with a disability and complications with the birth
  2. Family member dying suddenly and losing the ‘spark’ with my husband
  3. Not being able to lose weight

If you have followed my story so far then you will know all these unknown fears before 2018 were very real to me but as time went on they were unfounded.

Let me unpack these fears and reflect on how the year went despite my fears:

My Newborn Baby

On Jan 3 2018 I gave birth to baby #2 – Kyneton.

I outlined in that blog post the circumstances of how little Ky arrived into the world.

2 hour labour, last minute changes, umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and a happy healthy bouncing boy.

Leading into the birth I had some worries that Mums can often think about.

“What ifs”.

What if this happens or that happens?

At the end of 2017 leading into the New Year I was happy and healthy.

We had moved from the metropolitan city to a regional town called Kyneton and as a family we made the big country adjustment pretty smoothly.

Little Ky’s nursery was all set up and ready to go and I had great people around me like my husband Leki, my sisters, both sets of parents, family and friends to count on for support.

Despite all the good feeling I still felt like the “what if” scenarios kept creeping into my thoughts.

We are close to celebrating Ky’s 1st birthday and he’s a rough little nut who explores this environment with his sticky fingers like any 11 month would.

So as it turns out – Fear #1 was completely debunked.

He’s as healthy as we could hope for!

Sweet dreams little Ky

Fear 1 out of 3 busted πŸ˜‰

Life’s CurveΒ Balls

I remember thinking at the beginning of 2018 that this year will be such a big challenge.

I have 2 kids now which comes with it’s own sets of challenges.

We live further away from friends and family which will force us to be more resilient and independent plus present opportunities to make new friends.

We continued Eme’s enrolment at our local Montessori school and also put her in our local Gymnastics School.

To make things a bit easier on us we decided to move 30 mins closer to Melbourne and resettled in Gisborne. A lovely village town less then an hour away from the CBD!

We were also continuing with this theme of small regular holidays for a reboot of the system and to enjoy our family while we can! We prefer to make small trips to local Big 4 camp sites but I had 3 x overseas trips within 4 months. Thailand in June, Tonga in September and Bali in October! This is not a usual thing believe me!

The trip to Tonga was especially difficult because my Grandmother passed away very suddenly. If you would have told me that the last time I would spend with Grandma Taina was in May 2018 I wouldn’t have believed you. She was so strong and happy at 87yo. I miss and love you Grandma! πŸ™

One of the biggest challenges I worked on this year was being happy.

Together with the support of my husband we’ve talked about how we can have more time to do the things we want.

A lot of that is being on the same page with disciplining our kids, our evolving morning routine, our wind down routine at night and making couple time a priority.

A big part of 2018 has been food prepping!

It has creating more time to do the things we enjoy more then anything else we tried! Highly recommend your family to create more time πŸ™‚

Although I didn’t set out toΒ be happy orΒ reduce my stress being on a well being journey helped me realise what was important.

Being able to recognise when I’m stressed or not actively being happy has been a key learning for me in 2018.

Couple Time!

Winning my Fears in 2018 I’m 2 from 3 πŸ™‚


Losing Weight

I can’t lie.

I’m really proud of my weight loss effort this year.

Started with good intentions a couple of days after having my second baby.

I tracked my efforts with the food we chose to eat, how and when we would try and exercise and feeding my mind with happy thoughts!

I never thought it would take me further then just numbers on the scale.

Christmas Morning πŸ™‚

Started at 94.9kg I’m now 68.4kgs – comfortably.

I’m not starving, not worried about what I eat, not worried about cheat meals and I have plenty of energy and enthusiasm to win my day.

This would be the gift I’d love to give you for Christmas.

Knowing that at the other side of weight loss is your growth into a improved version of you.

Fears knocked out of the park – 3 from 3 πŸ™‚

Final thoughts…

What’s my Fears for 2019?

Here they are:

  1. Not having enough ME time
  2. Not being being able to stand up for myself
  3. Not being able to have more babies

I’ll unpack these Fears next time but for now IΒ hope you enjoyed your Christmas with loved ones.

Here’s to the best version of you in 2019!

With love,

Belinda xo

Time Management

Time Management

Hi guys,

I write a lot about establishing a routine.

It works like a framework because not everyday is the same but the best thing about a routine is that everyone knows what’s happening.

Part of having a routine helps reduce the stress and increase my happiness.

Something we all subconsciously think about but never talk about.

Backyard fun πŸ™‚

Here are the 3 main things that I choose to focus on:

  1. Manage my ME time
  2. Manage my couple time
  3. Managing the kids

ME Time

This is always something that can be improved.

As a full time Mum I often fight this feeling of being inferior.

I stay home so there’s always ‘free’ time.

It’s easy to be home because you’re not doing anything.

The list goes on.

Let me tell you that if you choose to stay home or work part time or work full time it comes at a cost for all Mums.

The stigma IΒ feelΒ is that Mums shouldΒ be working.


There are many reasons why I feel this way.

  • Peer pressure from other Mums making me feel less important because I’mΒ justΒ a housewife
  • Financial pressures with the rising cost of living
  • Being more isolated and lonely living away from my immediate family
  • Feeling like being a home maker is not valuable

A way around feeling bad is having the constant and open communication with my husband.

For instance, we believe in having one parent at home trying to help raise our children.

Your journey may be different but we’re all trying to get to the same destination – to be happy.

So in order to protect my ME time I always work on feeling ‘ok’ about being at home to being with.

It might be a 30 min break while 11mo Ky is napping and Eme is at Montessori school.

Or my nightly Neighbours time at 6:30pm πŸ˜‰

It’s these little nuggets of time that I can carve out for myself to be ok with being by myself.

Couple Time

There are 2 main times throughout each day that Leki and I try and connect regularly.

In the morning with our breakfast routine and at night when we put our phones on airplane mode and we talk to each other for > 30 minutes.

Every morning we spend breakfast together because my husband gets home from work late and a family dinner doesn’t suit us.

So we make the time to have a good hot breakfast together and spend a good amount of time talking about the day ahead, what’s happening on the weekend and looking forward to future plans.

On a typical morning when Eme leads us for our morning prayer to bless our food, my husband Leki has already cooked our hot breakfast and Ky is waiting patiently πŸ™‚

We usually talk about how Eme is going at Montessori school/Gymnastics then we talk about our numbers on the scales and Leki measures his blood readings.

Just before we finish up breakfast we then grab Eme’s calendar and Eme practices using and reading a calendar.


Fun times!

Family/Kids Time

Our 3yo Eme knows her night routine (we call it a wind down routine).

After dinner she has 30 minutes to either have some screen time or play before she’s brushes her teeth, goes to the toilet, says her nightly prayers before reading her books eventually falling asleep.

There’s no more tears or tantrums because we’ve stayed consistent with her routine and she’s happy sleeping in her own bed in her own room.


I’ve talked about prepping food because it frees up your time during the working week.

We either pre-cook food on Fridays (if the weekend is busy) or Sundays.

Once we’ve bulk prepped our meals then we are set for the next 5-6 days πŸ™‚

Time management is important for the working person so why shouldn’t it be important for families too?

If you let things drag out or procrastinate doing things then it all piles up PLUS you lose out on doing the fun things because you’re playing catch up.

Washing piling up in the laundry, dishes staring at you in the sink, kids are fed and cranky, hubby is home and wondering why the place is upside down. It doesn’t feel good does it?

Another things that time management can help with is spending quality time with your family.

Even if it’s a short time.

We can pack that all in because we prioritise our time.

There’s a lot less rushing around because we consistently talk about the plans coming up and mentally prepare for what’s required to make it all work smoothly.

And what’s the final result?

Less Stress and Happiness – my original goal to begin with.

I hope you continue to do the things that make you happy πŸ™‚


With love,

Belinda xo

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

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

Hi guys.

This is the 11th month of my monthly well being journey and it has been a great teacher.

It has taught me some things about myself like being patient, to be open minded and to understand new ideas.

It’s also challenged me to think about changing things once I’ve found it wasn’t working out so well.

This is only possible once I was able to be structured with my day by establishing a routine that works for me and my little family πŸ™‚

Nov 2018 – 68.9kg πŸ™‚

Well it’s 21 November 2018 and I weigh 68.9kg!!

I’ve lost over 26kg in 11 months πŸ™‚

A quick summary 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)

Episode #9 – Sept (The Main Struggles)

Episode #10 – Oct (The Bali Body)


94.9kg in Jan 2018 down to 68.5kg in Nov 2018!

One of the biggest transformations I’ve made over the year has been my weight loss.

But the biggest change has been my way of thinking.

I’m not worried about losing weight anymore because I’ve achieved all my goals – numbers wise.

The next thing I’ll be focusing on isΒ having more energy.

I’ll explain a little more further on πŸ˜‰

In my family, November is a very busy month.

The Melbourne Cup public holiday, my birthday, Mum’s birthday, cousins, nieces and nephews also celebrate birthdays and being the middle of Spring everyone feels the warmth of summer around the corner!

Lots of birthdays in Nov!

Having a lot of celebrations mean challenges with food choices and trying to be disciplined.

Often the conversations I have with my husband Leki revolves around how we are maintaining our discipline with our food choices and decision making.

For example, when we celebrated our ‘collective November’ birthdays at a local pub Leki and I looked at the menu earlier in the day and discussed what would be the best option for us.

Sharing a plate πŸ™‚

We talked about the portion size, whether I’d go steak with vegetables instead of chips and Leki would go a burger with chips and we’d share. That way we don’t over indulge on the bad things but we still have a bit of fun.

Or another example is when I’m at home and planning a day out with my kids.

I purposely eat what’s been prepared at home and take a few little snacks like fruit to make sure I’m ‘happy full’ at home and avoid being tempted while I’m out.

It’s the little things that over time give you a BIG result.

What’s new?

Last month I wrote about wanting to have more energy available to do the things that I want.

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

β‡’ Energy to wake up and attack the day

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

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

Nov 2018 – 68.9kg πŸ™‚

Part of having energy is recognising when something is not good for you.

βˆ— Have I been spending too much time watching TV?

βˆ— Am I on my phone too much?

βˆ— Have I had too many snacks today?

βˆ— Do I really need to eat this cake?

βˆ— Is gossiping really good for that relationship?

βˆ— Is it healthy to always be thinking negative thoughts?

βˆ— Am I staying up too late at night?


Here are 3 things that I’m planning to do to create more energy for myself:

  1. Stretch out my fasting window
  2. Reconnect with long lost friends
  3. Start new relationships

My Fasting Window

I have been practising intermittent fasting since April 2018.

It is the pattern of eating where you only eat within a certain window and then you fast for the remaining time – fasting window.

Traditionally I’ve been eating in an 8 hour window from around 8am to 4pm.

I then fast (miss dinner) from 4pm to 8am the next day. A lot of the hard work is done when I’m sleep 6-8 hours which is still apart of my fasting routine πŸ™‚

The interesting thing is I still had my 3 x meals within my 8 hour window.

My first meal (breakfast) was at 8am, then my BIG meal was lunch at 11am then I had a smaller meal (dinner) around 2-3pm before having a snack or something light before my 4pm cut off.

Later at night when we’ve put the kids down to bed I have a cheeky glass of red to relax and enjoy a nightly program with hubby.

FYI: we’re watching Jack Ryan atm πŸ™‚jack ryan

Well what’s changed?

I’m now shortening my eating window and increasing my fasting window to 18:6.

18 hours fasting and eating within a 6 hour window within a 24 hour day.

I am now eating from 11am-4pm.

So I have my Bulletproof coffee and apple cider vinegar + hot lemon water in the morning at 8am but my first meal (is now at 11am. ‘Lunch’ is at 1pm then my final meal is around 3-4pm.

I’m getting closer to where Leki is atm as he’s practicing 20:4.

Fast for 20 hours and eat in a 4 hour window. His first meal is at 1-2pm and his final meal is at 6pm with little fruit snacks in between.

Our eventual goal is to practice OMAD –Β One Meal A Day.

This can be something I talk about later with you πŸ˜‰

Surprisingly, as I’ve restricted my eating window and eating quaity wholefood the result is more energy!

So where am I placing my new found energy?

I’ve chosen to spend my energy on things that make me happy.

With leads me to my next 2 points – reconnecting with old friends and making new friends πŸ™‚

Reconnect with old friends

When you’re home full time with kids you can be starved of adult conversation and entertainment.

It’s great to be able to connect with friends and talk about things other then nappies, tantrums and poor sleep.

A few drinks to blow off some steam can help too πŸ˜‰

Girls night out!

Recently I had a great night out with some girlfriends at Fox101.9 RnBLive concert.

It was a chance to relive our youth by having some popular RnB artists from our younger days. Usher was the headlining act but there were plenty of others for us to get our groove on!

Just being with the girls gave me a booster shot of energy into the arm!

With this new found energy and time that I’ve created for myself I’ve reached out to old girlfriends from high school.

It’s been great to keep tabs on each other with the help of Facebook and social media.

We’ve managed to organise times over the next fortnight to meet face to face and reconnect again!

Looking forward to seeing how everyone has been over the last 15 years (since we finished high in 2003!)

Another source of energy is with my Mothers Group.

There are 3-4 ladies are going strong now since we first came together almost 4 years ago!

Eme’s 1st birthday – felt like such a long time ago πŸ™

Since I moved from the city to the country it has been challenging to see the Mum’s as regularly as I would like but we try and maintain.

We’ve got a few play dates lined up so it’ll be good to carry on from where we left off last πŸ™‚

Belonging to a social group can improvement your health both physically and mentally.

Trying my best to eat well and organise myself around a structured routine allows me to have more energy to do difficult tasks.

Tasks like putting yourself out there and trying to organise a get together.

Having the energy to think about how I can organise my week, thinking about how I’ll manage my kids for the day and how I can have some fun πŸ™‚

Start new relationships

After moving to a new part of Victoria I’ve opened myself up to meeting new Mums in the area.


Well there’s Montessori Mums.

We have our 3yo enrolled at our local Montessori school and next year she’ll be in school 3 x half days PLUS we’ll be enrolling our 1yo forΒ NidoΒ classes once a week.

There’ll be some down time to get to know some Mums πŸ™‚

Apart from school we’ve enrolled our daughter to our local gymnastics school.

She’ll be put up into the next class in 2019 and so we’ll be meeting some new kids and Mums which should be exciting.

The last group are Social Media Mums.

I’ve connected with quite a few Mums which is really nice and I’m excited to be apart of our little community.

Looking forward to learning and sharing knowledge over the journey πŸ™‚

Meeting new people can be exciting because you have a chance to ‘reinvent’ yourself within the new relationship.

I think it’s always important to be true to yourself and be respectful of everyone around regardless if they’re new faces or old friends.

It’s always energising to meet new people πŸ™‚


Final thoughts…

I am looking forward to achieving my goal of squeezing into a size 10 dress by Christmas!

This has been my adjusted goal since I’ve lost my baby weight down to 69kg.

I’m going to a wedding in early Dec and I’m trying on lots of different dresses which is equally exciting and stressful.

In my next update (in December) it will be my last update on this particular theme of ‘losing weight’.

From 2019 onward it will be about doing things that make me happy and what energises me.

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts.


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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚


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 πŸ™

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 pickΒ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚


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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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.

β™₯ I’ve lost weight

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

β™₯ 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

β‡’ Energy to do things I want

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

β‡’ Energy to wake up and attack the day

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

β‡’ 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 πŸ™‚


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 πŸ™‚

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 usingΒ 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 aboutΒ 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

[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 πŸ™‚


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?Β Little help! I’d love to hear what works for you hit me up! πŸ™‚

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 toΒ feel good but in all honesty the majority of my efforts is toΒ look good!Β 

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚


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 πŸ™‚




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 πŸ™

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 πŸ™

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 πŸ™‚

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