[Part 1] How Belinda Got Her Groove Back!

[Part 1] How Belinda Got Her Groove Back!

Hi all.

I going to share with you my monthly effort on how I lose my baby phat.

This is not my first time.

With baby #1 I lost over 30kgs in 2015.

Then with baby #2 I repeated the effort and got to my lowest numbers yet PLUS managing to breastfeed for one year in 2018.

Now I plan on sharing my struggles with baby #3.

So here we go!


Here I am 2 weeks before I had baby Safaia (early Sept 2019): 95kg

Just 1 day after having baby Safaia (Sept 28 2019): 92kg

Baby #3 Safaia weighed in at 3.1kg and so my starting weight for tracking this weight loss journey will be 92kg!


Let me be real with you for a minute.

Selfishly, I want to look good at my cousin’s wedding late-November 2019 in Sydney.

So let me start with the end in mind.

My goal is to lose weight.

The magic number to lose is 13kg!

I’m targeting a loss from 92kg to 79kg.

I have 4 weeks before we fly to Sydney and I need to make this happen.

Fortunately I’ve got my track history to help me and I already have some results!

Challenge accepted 🙂

20191026_074209

In (from Sept-Oct) 4 weeks I’ve dropped from 92kg to 86.8kg.

That’s 5.2kg since I’ve popped out baby Safaia.

If I can work hard an drop another 6.9kg over the next 4 weeks (Oct-Nov) then I should be 79.9kg!

I just want to see a ‘7’ at the start of the scales 🙂

The challenge in the first 4 weeks was:

  • Making sure my nutrition was on point so I can have energy and continue breastfeeding (my priority)
  • Avoid strenuous exercise to allow my birthing wounds to heal quickly
  • Lay low at home and stay indoors to allow my body to recover quickly

With that being said I’m pretty happy with losing 5.2kg without exactly ‘starting’ my proper weight loss effort.

I mean I did eat well but I haven’t:

  • Started my home based HIIT training
  • Introduced my intermittent fasting regime during the week
  • Been as disciplined with my food choices as I would have liked
  • Been able go for long walks yet due to being stuck indoors (self imposed)

So, yes, I want to lose weight but my first priority is ensuring my little girl is thriving.

20191025_210914

At the moment she feeds every 4-6 hours and so we can get some quality rest time.

We’ve been working on our new routine given the new addition to the Family but I will describe our processes down the track.

As always we continue to track our daily weight and pop it into our spreadsheet on the fridge which we look at everyday.

I can tell you that these jugs are also weighing me down 😉

20191025_072723

So there you have it.

I need to lose almost 2kg a week over the next month to be able to reach my goal of 79kg.

Looking forward to bringing you the next update in a month’s time and showing you that I’m up for the challenge!

With love,

Belinda xo

Want To Learn My Best Way To Reduce Stress?

Want To Learn My Best Way To Reduce Stress?

Hi Mama,

My pursuit in the last half of 2018 was happiness.

You see I had made it my mission to lose weight after having baby #2 in Jan 2018 and track my progress.

Why?

Because I was going to be in Thailand with my family in June 2018.

√ I achieved that goal!

Then I made the goal of losing weight in just over 5 months to have a bikini body… while maintaining my target of breastfeeding baby #2 for 1 year!

√ I achieved that goal too!

Throughout the journey of self improvement and self discovery I found that I managed my stress better.

√ My quality of sleep improved.

√ I wasn’t as stressed dealing with kids who cry at night.

√ I maintain a loving bond with my husband Leki.

√ And importantly I was able to prioritise my time to things that really matter.

20190623_115801
Our Catholic Community

My best way to reduce stress was to contribute to my community.

Being apart of a Family is special and not to be taken for granted.

My husband Leki works in the health field and speaks to a lot of different people from all walks of life.

New Australians from overseas struggle when they arrive because their whole network of friends and family are far away!

Belonging to our Family, our Church community and having Montessori, Mothers Groups and Gymnastic friends are important for my stress management.

But my Family bond is special.

I feel the special gift of Family when ever we get together.

The noise, the laughter, the energy of all the little cousins when they see each other.

My sisters who now have their own lives with their own families.

My parents who are getting older but still have the energy to play and help with their grandchildren.

2

This is something I don’t take for granted and it’s a gift to behold.

So whenever I feel overwhelmed and stressed I pick up the phone and call someone that loves me.

Most of the time it’s Leki.

Other times it’s my sisters.

Sometimes I chat with Mum or Dad to say hello.

20190623_120252
Eme and Ky in traditional clothes

Then we have Mass I catch up with Aunties and community members from Church.

It’s something that I manage in cycles because I don’t want to lean on everyone everyday but when I’m really in need it’s reassuring to know that loved ones are around me.

If you are in need of a pick me up or you’ve found yourself stressed beyond relief – I would encourage that you look to the ones closest to you and ask for help.

5
Happy Birthday Princess Neriah!

We all belong to a Community in some form or another and the laughter and happiness can help reduce your stress plus relieve your feeling of anxiety and hopelessness.

If you need encouragement in your own journey Mama I’m always here – don’t hesitate to reach out and say hello 🙂

With love,

20190623_120132
My Family

Belinda xo

Learn How To Spend $10 & Get $70 of Value!

Learn How To Spend $10 & Get $70 of Value!

Hi guys,

If you pull out a $10 note I’ll show you how you can make it $70 🙂

10

But before I do have a quick read of my first post on Op Shopping in July 2017.

Our little girl is now 4yo not 2yo.

We have a little boy who’s almost 1.5yo.

I’m pregnant with baby #3 due in September 2019.

Plus we’ve moved from our town Kyneton into the village of Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria.

original
Something for hubby – only $2!! Valued over $100!!

As our kids are growing their little bodies need bigger sizes of singlets, onesies, tops and pants.

It makes it easier for baby #3 as I can reuse a lot of baby #1 clothes I stored when she outgrew them all.

So where will I get all the other clothes for all my babies?

Op Shopping.

That’s how you turn $10 into $70 😉

Here’s a photo of my recent haul!

20190619_171345
For my 1.5yo Kyneton 🙂 cost me $16 (valued over $200 retail brand names like Cotton On Kids, Zara Kids, Best & Less, Target etc.)

When your family is on a tight budget or whether you enjoy digging for some great finds I’m a BIG fan of op shopping.

For example, I managed to find 7 x different items for baby #2 who is 18 months old and it only cost me $10.

If I had bought these items brand new and retail I would have easily gone over $70!

How good is that?

My older girl is 4yo and is lucky because she gets some hand me downs from an older cousin and so does my little boy from his cousin. Thanks sisters 😉

I tend to hunt around my local area for bargain buys.

There are 3 x op shops in Gisborne, 2 x Sunbury, 2 x Woodend and 3 in Kyneton that I visit once a month.

I also make a habit of giving back to the op shop by donating things we don’t need in the house.

They include: home phone, old bags, ill fitting clothes, toys and books.

I generally drop it off on my next visit to the local op shop as I plan to visit and browse the aisles.

20190619_172300
For my 4yo Emelina for $11 (valued over $200 retail from Bonds, Adidas, Zara Kids, Cotton On Kids, Target etc)

When I splash out on my next op shop adventure I’ll be sure to share it with you!

There are good finds for kids sometimes $1 quality items and when you find those op shops – GO REGULARLY! 🙂

What’s your best find?

With love,

Belinda xo

Parents Retreat To Bali

Parents Retreat To Bali

Hi guys,

As this post is landing on your browser my husband Leki and I are heading to Bali for a ‘Couple Retreat’.

We have left baby #1 (4yo) and baby #2 (1yo) with my parents (Nena and Poppy) for 5 days and 4 nights while we enjoy ourselves.

So how did this come about?

I outlined earlier in the year what our Family Core Values are!

Husband and Wife is always number one.

We reinforce this rule by having parts of our day that are routine.

It’s more then just saying ‘I Love You”.

It also about how we argue and attempt to listen to each other when we try to resolve disagreements.

We fight at times like any couple do!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’re not special by any means.

But what does make our connection special is that we’ve spent time understanding each other.

That comes with time, love and a lot of patience with each other.

What’s the result?

A little step closer to a tighter bond.

The stronger our bond is as husband and wife then more fertile the soil is for our family to grow.

I have also laid out small but regular trips away to recharge and reconnect.

As a family we try and have little getaways every 3 months.

Doesn’t have to be extravagant although committing to a time away is the priority.

We are very big fans of the Big 4 family camping sites.

I’ve written about this – HERE.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So far we’ve been to Big 4 Melbourne, Big 4 Moama, Big 4 Bateman’s Bay and Big 4 Bellarine.

We don’t wait for nice getaways for us to reconnect.

We stay connected but this is a chance to strengthen that connection even further!

The central theme of our core values is Discipline and Routine.

Our main family meal is in the morning and we all look forward to talking and sharing things at Breakfast.

Then on the weekend Leki and I co-ordinate our diaries and plan the upcoming weeks to make sure we are organised. I’ve talked about this – HERE.

Having the discipline to keep to our daily routine gives us the freedom to plan and do things we want.

There’s no sense urgency which helps reduce stress and because we are coordinated in our schedules we create time.

Makes you feel light on your feet when you aren’t bogged down by unnecessary commitments or being ‘busy’.

So Bali here we come 🙂

Love ya work Mamas!

IMG-b2cc826fd448b552d99af4997f5387ea-V

With love,

Belinda xo

 

[UPDATE] Child Development

[UPDATE] Child Development

Hi guys,

Today I thought I would revisit this post from Oct 2018 – read about it HERE.

It documents how my 2 x kids are developing.

Our daughter Emelina will be 4yo very soon and our son Kyneton recently turned 1yo!


Kyneton is 13 months old

20190210_143343

Sleep

Ky’s sleep is now more regular. He wakes at 5am and he hangs out with my hubby Leki who likes getting up early (lucky me!).

His first nap is around 10am and then again at 3pm.

He averages around 1 hour of nap time in which gives me a chance to rest up and sleep or to finish any tasks at hand.

We have been successful in having Ky in his own crib and in his own room since he was 7 months old.

Read about how we did that – HERE.

 

Body Movements

He’s walking!

Only a couple of steps confidently although he does wobble around a little bit 🙂

We celebrated his birthday at Geelong and soon after his party he started taking some steps the next few days and weeks after!

We’re so happy!

Ky was not a crawler and only started at around 9-10 months although we had him on plenty of tummy time (he was NOT a fan!) and sometimes in the baby walker for short periods of time.

Now that’s he’s up and running… we’ll have to keep an even closer eye on the little man 😉

Spatial Awareness

Ky is very adventurous and is not afraid to crawl around the house and down the long hallways independently.

If the rest of the family are in the lounge room watching TV it’s not uncommon that Ky would disappear into the kitchen or other parts of the house for a little while before resurfacing with a cheeky grin on his face 🙂

If he’s gone for longer then 5 minutes or he’s been ultra quiet then either Leki or I go and investigate what he’s up to.

20190205_200723

He’s very interested in tissue paper and toilet paper at the moment and if w’re not careful I’ve seen my lipstick, toothbrushes and toys down the toilet. (So now all toilet bowl seats are closed LOL).

Unfortunately Ky has had a few falls and knocks as he wondering around on his feet.

He has a few bumps on his head and his worst fall was off the arm rest of the couch. Luckily he landed on a soft toy which cushioned his landing but he got a big fright and burst into tears.

We’ve since observed that he’s very careful being off the ground like if he’s on the couch, on a bed or being sat on a bench. We think we has a better understanding of depth now and has learnt that a fall from a height is painful 😉

Food

This boy can eat anything.

We have him on formula when he wakes up and when he’s due to go to sleep at the end of the day.

Other then that he has main meals with us and eats was we eat.

The only thing is that I tend to ‘Mama’ his food. That is, I chew his food and mash it up and then I feed it to Ky. Kinda like a seagull 😉

He eats our pre-prepped meal plans, enjoys the sweet treats, drinks water like a champion, enjoys some take away with us and is very fond of ice cream 🙂

The only thing he doesn’t like?

Eggs.

That sucks because that’s our go to breakfast.

So what does he have? Sometimes, 1 x Weetbix or some porridge with chia seeds, milk and banana.

Discipline

Ky is a boy’s boy.

He crashes into things and likes to hear the boom bash of things making loud noises.

We are very patient with his curiosity and the only time we’ll intervene is if he’s going to break something or if it’s dangerous!

We also believe in discipline.

Firm discipline.

If little Ky doesn’t understand by the tone of our voice that he’s in trouble and needs to listen then he gets a little flick on the back of his hand.

What sort of flick?

Imagine you’re play marbles and you flick your thumb to launch the marble forward.

Same thing only with the middle finger.

It can be quite forceful and painful but Ky gets the message 😉

Ky is very good with picking up the tone in our voices now so he very well knows when he’s in trouble!


Emelina is 4yo (almost)!

20190210_113644

Sleep

I’ve started added a nap into Emelina’s routine.

When Ky goes down around 3pm I take Eme down too and we have a nap to recharge the batteries.

This is helpful as we are heading towards 3 x half days for her Montessori School.

By the end of the year we hope to increase her to 4 x half days.

The daily nap helps her and ME recover adequately to see out the day with good energy 🙂

Overnight Eme is our dream child.

She may have a few little things that causes her to be scared to begin with but then we encourage her to be a big girl and after her nightly prayers she closes her eyes and falls asleep around 7:30PM most nights.

She’s such a blessing!

20190121_102755

Spatial Awareness/Gymnastics

Eme has graduated to the next class of her gymnastics school!

There are some older kids in her class and although it’s early in the year it’s good to see her training with them.

Just like her Montessori School there is an age range of 4-6yo in her gym class.

There are some kids in her class who are so  athletic already! Their little bodies are so flexible, strong and fluid that it’s amazing to see the potential of what Emelina could develop into if she is consistent.

So proud of her effort so far I hope she continues to enjoy it!

Discipline

Eme is talking back to me. Not so much Leki but she’s definitely testing the boundaries.

At school and at gymnastics she struggles to take turns and always wants to be first!

As we understand it can be completely normal and developmental issue.

It’s interesting for us as parents because we choose NOT to intervene when Emelina is being pushy.

Why?

Emelina needs to learn from her peers that it’s not appreciated.

There will be an older child who will just tell her it’s not on.

Or Eme will see that she’s made another child upset make her want to change her behaviour.

It’s really hard for me to stand by and watch her cause a disturbance but I believe it will help her own development.

It’s even harder when other Mums or parents are looking at me disapprovingly BUT I am not a helicopter parent.

I don’t mind if my kids fall over and get hurt.

I don’t worry if there’s a chance that my child will get fingers caught in the drawer.

I like watching Eme climb ladders and play in the local playground without having her need me to help her.

I am trying to teach her to be resilient and self sufficient.

In the real world we feel pain, we get disappointed and come second or last.

What matters is how you bounce back and learn from those failures.

I love my kids but I’m not always going to be there to cushion their fall.

20190124_093835


So looking ahead for the next 12 months I would like to tell you of our intentions.

School and Gymnastics for all our children will be mandatory.

Then every 6 months we will look to introduce new things for the kids to try.

It may be an learning instrument, scouts, nippers, sport or drama. Whatever may take their fancy but we are not looking at letting them be lazy on school holidays. Especially in the final years of primary school leading into high school!

From Term 1-2 we are looking to put our kids into local swimming classes.

Then from Term 3-4 we are looking at entering Eme into my friend’s Hawaiian dance group – Nuholani.

More news to come as I look to keep you updated on how the kids are going every 6 months or so.

This is helpful because it reminds me how quickly they grow and what little time I have with them before they’re too cool for Mum and Dad 😉

I hope you enjoyed this post.

With love,

Belinda xo

I’m Losing My Hair

I’m Losing My Hair

Hi guys,

Today I thought I’d share with you one of my primary weaknesses – my thinning hair.

The biggest fear I have in losing my hair is looking like Golem from the Lord of the Rings 😉Gollum_Render

I may be over doing it a bit but you can understand my worry.

So my hubby and I went into a little deep dive on what may be the cause of my hair loss.

We like the information relating to biohacking and general well being from Dave Asprey and the team at Bulletproof 🙂

Here is a recent blog post from the Bulletproof guys that I will be directing a lot of my energy on.

Leki also enjoyed listening to the Bulletproof podcast which helps give us more information on this topic and everything related to biohacking.

After reading the research/blog post above – here are the top 3 things I am going to do in order to help reduce and reverse my hair loss:

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Monitor my hormone levels

Stress

Dr. Sophia Kogan MD reports that stress is a huge component of hair loss.

The body’s stress hormone – cortisol – causes a 40% drop in the production of key compounds that protect your hair follicles and help them grow.

When these 2 key compounds (hyauronic acid and proteoglycans) are depleted or reduced then your hair falls out. Sometimes it never grows back!

So what am I going to do?

The big positive thing in reducing stress directly reduces the load on the nervous system.

So if I can reduce my stress and make it a conscious part of my daily habit it can help unload my nervous system.

How am I going to do this? I’m going to challenge myself by doing these 3 things!

Something I’m going to be working on is being grateful in the moment. Challenge: I’m going to thank someone everyday and it’ll be a random text/call to friends or family and I can’t send a thank you to the same person 🙂 So that’s 365 different people I’ll be send a message to! Or even a simple thank you throughout the day will do!

This has been a big problem for me. Apart from having a 11 month son who struggles at night I’m also a night owl staying up at night on my phone. Challenge: Keeping my phone on airplane mode and out of arms reach when I go to bed.

Although I been losing a lot of weight it has not been from a lot of exercise. This is another big weakness of mine. Challenge: Committing to a 4 min Tabata/HIIT program of burpees. 20 seconds ‘on’ doing burpees and 10 seconds resting.


Inflammation

Although the direct link of chronic inflammation and hair loss is not clear Dr. Kogan believes there is a correlation.

So she’s saying that a lot of people who have hair loss problems also have chronic inflammation problems!

IMG-3ef0778056f1e56bab8c1b1007fc0525-V
Going baldy 🙁

So what am I going to do?

I feel I have this one in pretty good check.

We have been a practising paleo family for over 2 years and most recently upgraded to a cyclic ketogenic food strategy with intermittent fasting for over a year.

This has greatly helped reduce my inflammation. I’ve written a lot about this in my monthly weight loss update.

If you’re unsure about what to do then check out these guides to help with your well being 🙂

The biggest challenge is setting a new routine and being disciplined with the small changes over time!

BulletproofRoadmap_Rebrand_outlined720

 

ultimate-cooking-methods-guide-infographic_low-res


Hormones

Thyroid and testosterone imbalances are also key causes of hair loss.

MRSXX_front_box_and_product
Be careful!

These 2 hormones affect the growth of hair and can cause the hair follicles to shed.

The report continues to show that both thyroid (either high or low thyroid activity) and testosterone imbalances can be managed with medications.

**CAUTION** These common medications prescribed by your GP and over the counter products can also give you problems!

download
Caution!

Minoxidil commonly known as ‘Rograine’ and Finesteride are medications I’ve seen on TV adverts and in the pharmacy but I haven’t used them before.

As I understand it, these medications block the pathways that make these hormones – thyroid and testosterone.

Minoxidil blocks thyroid pathways which can give you scalp inflammation, oily residue and irritation (dandruff) which contributes to hair loss.

Finersteride which alters testosterone can cause loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction and problems ejaculating. Major problems so please consider medications carefully!

So what am I going to do?

Easing stress will definitely help – so the first point takes care of that for me 😉 But,  something I need to improve on is working on my gratitude and exercise.

Nutrition also helps balance your hormones and the second point covers that for me too 🙂

I’m choosing not to make this too complicated for me right now.

Instead of trying to foods that’s hard to find or buying ‘quick fix’ supplements I’m going to focus on gratitude and exercise first.

Once I’ve made those changes consistently I’ll review how my hair regrowth is going and if it’s still stalling I’ll then try some other measures mentioned in the report (like eating adaptogens and monitoring hormone levels closely)

I have recently organised to have a blood test looking specifically at my hormone levels. Then in 6 months I’ll get another blood test for my hormone levels and compare.

Fingers crossed.

IMG-70629903918caf7532d020bd78e95df6-V


So there you go.

I’ll be looking to monitor my hair regrowth and keep you updated 🙂

In 6 months I’d like to update you on how I’m going with my gratitude and exercise program. I’ll also show you some before and after with my hair regrowth.

Looking forward to sharing the results with you.

Wish me luck 🙂

 

With love,

Belinda xo

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

IMG-5c692758ff1aefdee3078ee0ed5ff2f1-V
Our little Island boy

Sleep

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 🙂

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.

IMG-7f68abf11e58cd9f762c0f475ba23697-V
All smiles 🙂

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. 🙂

Food

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 😉

Discipline

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

IMG-544d491b631186246db92e790824842b-V
Visiting Nani and Papa

Sleep

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 our 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 🙂

IMG-c8dc4e303ec4b24a39c9aff02ad539d8-V
Eme’s local gymnastics school

Gymnastics

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 🙂

Discipline

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 🙂

Discipline is always a work in progress.

IMG-7d86483874c74349c27b1fb362cf5244-V
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 😉

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 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post.

IMG-0c169d89aeb7f634d234ea5046fb6757-V
Leki 33yo, Eme 3yo, Ky 9mo and Belinda 32yo 🙂

With love,

Belinda xo

Avoiding The Naughty Things

Avoiding The Naughty Things

Hi guys,

I hope you all had a lovely time with your Grandfathers, Fathers and partners over the weekend celebrating Father’s Day.

Today I’m writing about trying to maintain your lifestyle when there are so many temptations.

We had a Father’s Day weekend as Saturday our family celebrated for my husband Leki and Sunday was flat out with my father’s breakfast and then catching up with my father-in-law for lunch/dinner.

So with that said here are my 3 main points:

  1. Communication
  2. Food prep
  3. Decision making

Communication

Leki and I talk all the time.

Over breakfast in the morning we communicate to our family about what’s happening today, what we’re looking forward to later in the week and little trips coming up in the next few months.

During the day while I’m running around or holding the fort down at home Leki might call me on the phone and we’d chat for 20-30 mins while he’s driving to and from different locations for work.

We often talk about things that we’re planning to do later that week or events that are about to happen over the weekend.

Then later at night we would continue to talk about it while we’re winding down.

The theme of this is communication.

We discuss and plan for what is coming down the pipeline because we can understand it from both perspectives – his and mine.

IMG-7fa4276337a68ffcc89c3bad1e33bcc1-V
Watching Rugby with Ky

Let’s take the Father’s Day weekend for example.

Leki works every Saturday.

After he finished we drove 60 mins to support my cousin play in his Rugby League grand final at 2:30pm.

Then from there we travelled another 30 mins to a meeting Leki had until 7:30pm.

We would return home after 8pm on Saturday night.

It would be almost too easy to drop into Maccas or take away on Saturday – but we didn’t.

Instead of making excuses we communicated over the week on how we busy we were going to be plus managing our little kids.

The solution?

We prepped meals and talked about how we would manage our day.

Once I had prepared the meals Leki and I talked about our respective eating windows (intermittent fasting) and how we would manage things together.

You see, Leki only eats in a 4 hour window from 2-3pm until 6-7pm and I’m eating within a 8 hour window from 8am-4pm.

So we talked through how we’d be managing ourselves and our family over the upcoming weekend.

Communication with your partner is key to being consistent!


Food prep

Last week I shared our outlook on prepping meals to free up time later in the week.

Our food prep can supply our household from Sun to Fri most weeks.

By Saturday lunchtime we’ve run out of food which is when we’d do our weekly shopping, have our carb refuel meal (cheat meal) then rest up Saturday night having a night in.

Sunday after church from 1pm to 3pm we’d spend the time bulk prepping nutritious meals for the upcoming working week.

20180825_194849.jpg
Bulk shopping 🙂

Over the Father’s Day weekend though things were a slightly different.

I knew we’d be busy all weekend long so in order to keep our healthy buzz going we would have to prep and pack food to take.

My goal is to get to less 69kg by the time I’m away in Bali in late Oct. That’s about 7 weeks away and I’m around 71.5kg.

In order to lose the weight I need to be consistent.

Moments of weakness or a weekend of ‘letting myself go’ can undo over a fortnight of ‘being good’. It’s happened to me before!

So I was willing to get on the front foot, shop, cook and prep meals and snacks all the while balancing my 2 x kids and keeping my home in good working condition.

On Thursday (leading to the Father’s Day weekend) I went to Aldi and did some extra shopping.

Then over Thursday and Friday I pre cooked some meals so that we’d have them ready for the weekend coming up!

We had some snacks for the Rugby game and then we had some food ready to have just before Leki’s meeting on Saturday night.

Which leads me to my next point…

Communication + Prepping = Better decision making


Decision making

With our efforts to communicate throughout the week we can make better decisions.

In my “Sister chat” which we discuss things on Facebook Messenger in a group chat and it’s here my sister organised Father’s Day breakfast for my Dad.

Similarly with Leki’s family on a group Viber chat they had organised something for Sunday lunchtime.

The result was challenging.

2 x restaurants to eat on the same day with a lot of temptations 🙂

Given that we would be tempted we decided to check out the menu of Lazy Moe’s where we’d be having part of our celebrations.

After having a quick preview on what was on offer we both decided to grab the Veg breakfast option with extra poached eggs, avocado and picked the gluten free toast.

It was amazing because we enjoyed ourselves with family but didn’t feel too guilty after as we maintain our disciple with our food choices.

Soon after we caught up with Leki’s parents and last minute decided to eat out at a Chinese restaurants in Crown called Man Tong Kitchen.

This was unplanned.

As we sat down to enjoy the banquet meal we decided on some options that would not throw us out of wack.

We decided to order some smaller entree dishes (dumplings etc.) and one fried rice and sizzling chicken plate to share among us. We also had some dessert – Leki had the red bean pancake with ice cream and I had the banana split with Eme.

The result?

I put on 500g or half kilo the next day when I weighed myself.

I take that as a positive because I could have chosen to ‘let myself go’ for the weekend and easily put on over 2kg (which has happened in the past).

It’s now 2 days after the weekend and I’m back to where I was on Saturday – weight wise.

So, 2 x meals on Sunday takes me 2-3 days to return back my ‘usual’ weight.

Decision making is important and I feel you need to help yourself as best you can by communicating with your partner/support network and prepare food to make choices easier on you and your family.


We are all human and there are things that we like and don’t like.

I like eating.

I like having fun.

I like seeing the numbers on the scales going lower and lower.

I like feeling and looking good.

Whatever you like comes at a cost and you have to be prepared to make the sacrifices.

The struggle continues 😉

#49DaysUntilBali

 

With love,

Belinda xo

Top Purchases for < $100

Top Purchases for < $100

Hi guys,

Very fun post for you today!

I thought I would put together a list of the most helpful purchases in the last year which hasn’t broken the bank account but has been invaluable in our daily life.

I’m not really focusing on the cost of the product but rather the time it saves!

I hope you find it helpful 🙂

Ambiano blender

Now to be honest we purchased this blender years ago at Aldi and it lasted us about 2 years before it died.

aldi-blender
Ambiano

The cost for the blender was $40 from memory but it was so helpful.

We started making our Bulletproof coffee with it. I used to puree Eme’s food without issue. I made smoothies over the summer time and it was really cheap but well made.

We have since upgraded to an expensive blender and we chose to buy the Vitamix 5200 Black which cost us $729 from Costco.

You don’t really need this type of blender to begin with but with amount of food prep we were planning to go through we decided to treat the family to something more robust.

Vitamix-Blender-5200-Stainless-Brushed_1_230px
Vitamix

It hasn’t skipped a beat since!

Velocity Points

I wrote earlier about small trips that we try and plan as a family to rest and recharge.

We have a credit card with is linked to a rewards program and we completely forgot all about the Velocity Points we had collected over the last 3-5 years.velocity

Leki got an email reminding him of the rewards program and was surprised with what we could redeem.

We’ve just returned from a weekend trip to visit family in Sydney.

90% of the trip was redeemed through the Velocity Points program.

20180817_152755
Fun in Sydney

Airfares, car hire, public transport and a few meals was what we were able to redeem plus we stayed with family in west Sydney.

We also managed to get some tickets to watch the Bledisloe game 1 match. Our family are proud Wallabies supporters and we had a great time watching them at Olympic Stadium.

20180818_192511
We lost 🙁

Thin Lizzy

IMG-c7d19013d1cd8f6a55a235ef68994da2-V

This is my go to brand for light make up.

Cheap price but quality product. I’ve been using them for over 10 years and will continue to use their products!

I like that the look is natural and I don’t have the glossy reflection in photos.

Besides it doesn’t take too much to remove the make up after I’ve had a little glam session 😉

IMG-8ef39efb723e11168baa40de8797335c-V

My Thin Lizzy pack costs $30 and lasts me around 3 months easily 🙂

Montessori toys

Check out our little Montessori space at home. It’s one of our many pride and joys within our little home.

 

Montessori toys are nothing fancy or expensive.

They are basically toys that challenge the senses of the child to help their curiosity to learn.

IMG-9bac068483fb5e665e0d17f5bcdafe55-V
Learning with water

Some of our collections are from our recent trip to Thailand.

Others are from Target like her shopfront where she pretends to be the shop lady selling us fruit and coffee 🙂

Eme was gifted a kitchen set where she pretends to make pancakes and breakfast when Leki cooks in the morning.

We also love hosting kids at a party because they are self contained in our little Montessori space 😉

IMG-288c5cbb1ab3b4436387795bfa5199f9-V
Learning about nature

Each of things that we’ve collected over the last year range in cost from being FREE (giveaways or hand me downs), second hand from the local op shop or purchased from Aldi/other stores for $8-$35.

Coconut oil

We go shopping at Costco once a month – I wrote about how we organise our grocery previously here.

One key product we always purchase in bulk is coconut oil.

coconut

We go with either the Kirkland (Costco generic brand) one or the Absolute Organic brand (which is still a Costco branded product I think) and we use it for lots of things.

Costco63

Leki uses it to slick his hair.

We both use it for our skin as a moisturiser.

It’s our only option of oil for cooking (our only alternative is extra virgin oil as we strictly avoid vegetable oil or other oils with a low melting point).

We usually purchase one bottle for approx. $13-18 and it lasts us about 3 months! Talk about value for money 🙂

Veggie Bullet

IMG-2f64583f65ad4924adbe388da1e17847-V

We only just picked this one up less then a month ago.

Advertised at $89 at JB Hifi we were then offered a further $5 discount at purchase. I think their competitors The Good Guys were also having a promotion!

The veggie cutter is saving me a MASSIVE amount of time plus improving my family’s health.

How?

Firstly the chopping, dicing and spiralling work takes time and effort. It would take us 30-45 mins to get through our prep work for 3-5 days of sweet potatoes, cucumber, broccoli, carrot etc.

The Veggie cutter has this all prepared and ready to be cooked within 5 minutes 🙂

Plus we have now removed white rice from our diet and replaced it with spiralised zucchini mixed with our meat of choice for a great effect!

Read about out automated meal plans here.

IMG-3bfb5f545baa0c89430952f135bf0395-V
Spiralised zucchini 🙂 Our rice replacement!

Baby bathing seat from Gumtree

I reached out to a Mama who was advertising her bathing seat on Gumtree.

IMG-26764589dddd455a25e9d469feeb4196-V

Within 30 minutes we had reached an agreed time for pick up and later that day I was a proud owner of this bathing seat.

It’s been such a welcome relief because we’d shower him in tandem with Leki when he’s home which can be quite late so I needed an alternative. I struggled to manage them both at the same time.

IMG-8d0e93ed6d464193479c32538194aaeb-V

This product which is obviously second hand has been a lifesaver and Ky really enjoys his bath and looks forward to it everyday 😉

It only cost me $25 second hand which is a bonus! Brand new is $45 from Baby Bunting 🙂

Go Pro Black 4 from Facebook Marketplace

go pro

This is an expensive purchase but it’s been such a great buy I had to share it with you!

We decided to purchase an older version to learn how to use the Go Pro.

It was the perfect purchase for our recent trip to Sydney.

The quality of the videos, the accessories that come with it, the memories they capture. Priceless!

gp2

Leki found a great deal on the Facebook app within ‘Marketplace’.

The seller lived in the Melbourne CBD and Leki organised the exchange which cost us $270.

We also bought a memory card and the mounting stick on top of that for an additional $110 from JB Hifi.

Check out the video we posted using our new (but old lol) Go Pro!

What purchases for < $100 have you found invaluable or time efficient to help you on your day? I’d love to hear of other products other there that help Mums 🙂

See you next week!

Time To Say Goodbye

Time To Say Goodbye

Hi guys,

Today is a funny post… well for me at least.

As you know I recently moved home and Leki and I saw it as an opportunity to get rid of things which we’ve held onto for too looooong 🙂

We are both sentimental with things.

IMG-2c6fa7c48d8c7f2f0d9c24b843f94dd0-V
Eme directing traffic

That little piece of paper that Eme first scribbled on as a baby.

My old cards and work slips that serve no purpose.

Leki’s old rugby gear which can take up a whole room.

Little toys that Ky was given that he doesn’t even use.

Other assorted knick knacks that don’t have a home in the house but live in a tired looking box ‘just incase’ we need it in the future.

We all have them.

Well most of us anyway.

So Leki came across a lady who’s whole ‘shtick’ is minimal living.

Now I know it can be simple to declutter and get rid of useless things but her whole angle is how you get rid of things.

Marie Kondo developed the “KonMari Method” which is a decluttering method based on Japanese values in order to surround yourself with items that spark joy.

Now personally when I think of a ‘Japanese home’ what I think of very little clutter and a simple natural feel within the home.

20180721_143453
On the way to the tip

Basically Leki and I agreed that we would get rid of 90% of our things and practice a simple version of the KonMari method.

So how does it work?

To the item you are struggling to ‘let go’ you simple look at the object and think about the joy it had brought you… once upon a time.

It may be an old book, or a article of clothing, or in my case… boxes upon boxes of shoes, little things that have lingered in the closet for the day you might need it (and that day never comes).

You then say to the item – “you have brought me joy and now I must let you go“.

I’ll let you go to the op shop to bring someone else joy.

I’ll let you go and give joy to other family members.

I’ll let you go and help someone in need elsewhere.

You get the picture.

It’s almost reframing the item which was once much loved or neglected to be released and give someone else that joy.

Now I know this sounds crazy and woo woo but it really helps.

IMG-1a57329d04bb104686effe778b5ebbf2-V
Fun times with Eme

Leki loves Rugby.

He’s been involved in Rugby and has collected A LOT of rugby gear and memorabilia from over the years.

He said goodbye to over 90% of his things and gave it all away.

I love shoes.

I have shoes spilling out of every closet of my home and I had more in storage.

I gave away 90% of my shoes.

We both feel good about it.

Speak to us 12 months ago and there would be no chance that we’d part with our special treasures.

Let me give you some insight:

Leki has traveled a lot with sporting teams and there is often tracksuits, tops, polos and other various equipment that comes with travel.

He would travel almost 6-8 x times a year and each traveling team would have their own uniform. After 5-7 years of traveling at 6-8 tours per year you can imagine how much stuff you collect.

Each tour would be special and he would tie some of those special memories to the clothing.

No anymore… he’s said goodbye to 90% of that stuff now.

20180721_143950
Leki at the tip

 As I quoted earlier I love shoes.

All sorts of shoes too! High heels, platforms, knee high boots, sleek flats, runners. You name it, I had it in one shape or colour 🙂

I remember the exact pair of shoes I wore when Leki and I went on our first date!

They traveled with me in each of the homes we moved into even when I never wore them because they weren’t that fashionable as the years went by.

Regardless of that I still held onto them.

That was until I say goodbye to them last week and off they went. Given away to family in Tonga.

Wherever all our treasures have ended up…

“I hope they give you joy as much as they have given me”.

IMG-f62e0266c7c1b69ddcfe0ed065acff90-V
YAY – We’ve finally landed 🙂

With love,

Belinda xo