Organising Myself

Organising Myself

Hi guys,

Thanks for stopping by.

Today I wanted to give you a little insight into how I try and keep myself organised and how I track things.

With the help of technology I am able to track how my day, week and month go as I can become overwhelmed whenever I lose track of what’s coming up.

So there are a few Apps that I use in no particular order to stay organised:

 

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For my sisters we have a group chat on Facebook Messenger.

There are 4 of us and we talk about all things sisters do  😉

It’s a great way for us to keep in touch and make sure we are in communication on anything that’s coming up with our individual families.

We talk about our upcoming Thailand trip in June, things within the family we need to sort out and saving dates for celebrations that’s coming up soon!

I wrote earlier about how our time with important people is getting less and less and so I cherish the video calls, texts and time my sisters and I put into staying in touch 🙂

 

Viber

viber-iconOn my in-law’s side of the family they use a social media chat app and it’s updated very regularly.

In the Group chat there’s Leki’s parents, his siblings and partners.

It’s not uncommon that someone would post a little picture of what the kids are up to that day or a message of support if someone is doing it tough or planning for any events coming up in the future.

Recently Leki’s brother posted a little photo of their son having his first babycino which brought a smile to my face!

 

Gmail + Google Calendar

So looking specifically at my own little family – Leki and I sync the calendar app on our gmaikphones (we are Samsung fans!) to our family Gmail account.

This allows any entry into the calendar app on our phones to automatically sync with our family gmail account.

It’s really helpful in avoiding a clash in our schedules or either of us ‘double booking’ a weekend.

Highly recommend using this app!

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Mar 2018 – Calendar App on Samsung Galaxy 8 phone

You can see in the example photo above of my calendar for March 2018 (which is a calendar-iconscreenshot from my phone) Google has entered in automatically any National or State holidays relevant to Australia making that easy.

You can imagine as the family grows and gets busier with school, sport, celebrations, meetings etc. it may be important to block off time just for myself or for my family so we can try and relax 🙂

I am feeling confident that with developing our system of communication \we can stay on top of it all.

 

Old School Diary

The final piece of the puzzle is Leki’s diary.

He prefers to keep everything in it and enjoys crossing out an ‘item or job’ once it’s been completed.

All the reminders for bills to be paid, birthdays to attend, celebrations and important reminders live in here.

Every year since he was in high school he’s kept a diary and from 2003-current he has a collection of all the diaries documenting what was going on at that time!

I was going through a diary from our early days dating as an example and it reminded me of those early years when we would go to the movies and just hang out. Felt like an eternity ago 🙂

I wonder how we will look back at this time 20 years from now with the diary entries he places in 2018!

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Summary

So when we sit down to eat breakfast every morning I previously described how we always spend this time talking about our day ahead, anything coming up on the weekend or anything else coming up.

We whip out the phone and check any entries on the Google calendar, then check any reminders or notes on the Facebook Messenger and Viber chat groups then double check with Leki’s diary.

Once we know ‘where its at’ we can move forward with our day and be confident we have all our bases covered.

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Keeping my calendar free for Eme 🙂

How do you keep in touch with your family and friends? Are you trying your best to stay connected? Remember time with your loved ones is precious and needs to be appreciated everyday.

 

 

Have a great day – with love,

 

Belinda xo

‘Project Breastfeeding’

‘Project Breastfeeding’

Hello everyone.

Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on “Project Breastfeeding”.

To begin – let’s start at the very beginning.

In Mar 2015 I gave birth to our first child Emelina and I had internal struggles with that pregnancy questioning whether I would make a good mother.

I’m not sure where that feeling came from but it may be those situations where you’re unsure of yourself because it’s something new that you’ve yet to experience.

For instance learning to drive for the first time was scary but after a while you hop in the car, turn the ignition and off you go. Starting a new job you have some anxiety about how people may see you or questioning whether you’ll be happy here is always something you ask yourself. Meeting new people you always try and make the best impression and end up making a total fool of yourself.

All those examples and more are instances where you are fearful and unsure before you make the leap of faith.

Simply getting myself together was an effort but now I’m responsible for another little life.

Just that idea alone overwhelmed me.

I have to admit that the first 3-6 months of Eme’s life I was just going through the motions. Wake up, eat, feed her, burp her, change her, nap, eat, feed, burp, change and sleep in repeat.

Then one day it happened.

I ran out of breast milk.

It was like the tap was switched off and overnight we had to move to formula when Eme was 6 months old. I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing so I simply ran out of supply.

Maybe it was too easy to give up because my nipples were raw and sore. Maybe I wanted to run out because I wanted to be freed up to do others things. Maybe I told myself that 6 months is enough… or maybe I just honestly ran out.

I’ll never know but this time round I have a better game plan to manage myself and create the best possible outcome for baby #2 – little Kyneton.

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I believe firmly that it is up to the mother and environment to allow the new baby to flourish.

Feeling stressed? Living in a challenging environment? Not eating well? Not getting enough exercise? Poor sleep? Not keeping your chest warm?

There are many reasons why things are the way they are but it’s up to me to figure out why things are that way.

Am I stressed? Then I’ll try and reduce my stress and reduce the pressure and noise that I place on myself.

Not the best environment to raise a child? I like to imagine myself as the infant. Unable to move myself or be comfortable so I’m very reliant on my parents to look after me. What can I do to keep my baby as comfortable as possible?

Not eating well? Where does baby get their strength and nutrition from? Me. I need to do the best I can to make sure baby is nice and healthy.

Not getting enough exercise? Something is better then nothing. That’s what I tell myself 🙂

Poor sleep? If I’m not sleeping well enough then it will leave me irritable and that will only make things worse for the baby. It can be a chicken and egg situation and I completely understand that but which is easier to control – myself or the baby? Personally I can control my thoughts, feelings and actions more then a little baby.

Chest not warm? In the islands my mother tells me that women keep layers over the breasts to keep them warm. The warmth allows the blood vessels to flow better and help produce more breast milk.

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Above I have outlined a couple questions that I regularly ask myself.

If little Ky is upset or not feeding comfortably I ask myself what HAVE I DONE to make him upset.

Is his nappy wet or dirty? Does he have indigestion from overfeeding? Is he tired? What did I eat 12 hours ago – have I eaten anything different that’s irritating him? Have I been stressed? Did I have a shit sleep last night?

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So with that being said if you are interested in how I seem to be achieving 7-8 hours of sleep with little Ky who’s not even 3 months yet here is my winning formula:

  1. Eat well and sleep well
  2. Reduce stress (physical or emotional)
  3. Breast feeding ‘Booster’ smoothie once in the morning

Ingredients: Almonds, whole banana, tablespoon of grass fed butter, 1-2 tablespoon of cacao powder, ~500ml of coconut water, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal, teaspoon of MCT oil and 2 tablespoons of oats

Pop all that into your blender (we highly recommend the Vitamix blender) and you should get almost 700ml of smoothie goodness which is almost like a milkshake consistency.

In my last post I reported that I have started practicing intermittent fasting with an ‘eating window’ of 8 hours from 8am-4pm. That smoothie in the morning really gives me a kick start for the day along with my light breakfast.

Kyneton requires a feed almost every 2-4 hours throughout the day although I’m trying to stretch him out to 4 hours and I’m happy to have him cry if he’s getting hungry because I find he can comfort feed too which is difficult to manage.

So If I review my typical day in terms of feeding Ky it looks like:

  • 8am – first feed
  • 11am – second feed
  • 2pm – third feed
  • 5pm – fourth feed
  • 8pm – final feed before I put him down for the night
  • 4-5am – early feed

Well that’s my current update with “Project Breastfeeding” and I’ll provide updates later in the year as we battle through teething, introducing solids and any other obstacles that keeps things interesting.

What does your breast feeding efforts look like? Do you have a secret smoothie that keeps your breasts full of milk?

See you next week!

With love,

Belinda xo

Fear Setting

Fear Setting

Hi everyone,

As this post is beamed out to you we are quickly approaching the New Year.giphy-downsized

This is the part of the year which goal setting can become popular. Over the years I’ve been apart of the crowd trying to make big goals for the new year. Although plenty of goals were made very little were successful.

Out with the old – in with the new is the old saying. 

Well this year I’d like to lay down a new challenge. Instead of ‘Goal Setting’ try ‘Fear Setting’ instead.

So what is fear setting? Well this blog post from Tim Ferriss about Fear Setting is where I draw a lot of inspiration:

(A) Define your nightmares – think of the worst thing that could happen to you. Your spouse may die, a life threatening injury, you lose all your money, you lose your job.

(B) Then think about the likelihood of these things actually happening and prevent it. Really put some emotional thought and feeling behind your spouse dying. How would you feel if you lost all your money and you had to start all over again? What would your immediate thoughts be if you lost your job tomorrow?

(C) Then compile your thoughts on a piece of paper and write down your options in determining the best way forward by repairing it. For example, if you always thought about leaving your job write down your actionable plan if you actually pulled the trigger. What other jobs are there that interest you? What are your chances of successfully getting that job? If all else fails what are your chances of returning to your old job? The combinations are endless but thinking about it can help control your fears and anxiety of it happening.

(D) Now list all the potential benefits and costs of taking action or inaction. Review this every quarter, 6 monthly or yearly

Here’s quick spreadsheet for you to track your own fear setting calculations – thanks to Marvin Russell for putting it together!

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So using Tim’s Fear Setting exercise,  here are my Top 3 Fears I entered on June 2017:

(A) DEFINE

  1. Having a miscarriage
  2. Losing the ‘spark’ with my husband
  3. Family member dying suddenly

(B) PREVENT

  1. If a miscarriage does occur I’ll need to arm myself with resilience now. It will be painful to lose a child and I need to find the best support groups if required
  2. What measure do I have in place in case Leki and I split up? How will the kids be affected? How will my family and friends react? I need to work on being in a relationship that is open, honest and respectful
  3. Talk about what the family action plan is if one member was to suddenly pass away. What is the estate planning? What is the family’s position on the power of attorney? What is the legal process?

(C) REPAIR

  1. Educate myself on how miscarriages happen and work on being thankful for all that happens
  2. Celebrate and be grateful for every little success or challenge and approach  disagreements with logic rather then emotion. Open communication between us has to be a priority for our relationship to last the distance
  3. Commit to an action plan on estate planning and ensure regular visits with family so we are committed to an agreed process

(D) PLANNING – ACTION OR INACTION

I can report that I have addressed all these targets made in June 2017. Although it’s not really a one off thing as I’m always working on my fears it’s more so an understanding that unpacking fears and making them a lot less scary makes me stronger in the long run.

Here are my Top 3 Fears heading into 2018:

(A) DEFINE

  1. My baby boy being born with a ‘disability’
  2. Unforeseen complications with the birth
  3. Not being able to lose weight like I did the first time

(B) PREVENT

  1. Am I making the best healthy choices for my body and mind? What can I do to improve my situation? Who is someone I can follow and help educate myself?
  2. Acknowledging that complications can be apart of the process and being ‘ok’ with it
  3. Understanding that having a newborn and a toddler at the same time is a new challenge and I might not have as much time to focus on myself

(C) REPAIR

  1. If I do have a ‘disabled’ child I will love him as I would any child. I will educate myself on his ‘disability’ and encourage him to live his life to the fullest and I will do my best to support him
  2. Prepare for the top 3 complications in birth. Ensure that I have my support systems in place with Leki, immediate family and insurance cover for any worst case scenarios
  3. Find out the minimum but effective dose to lose weight by using my experience the first time round. Educate myself on safely losing weight by monitoring my diet closely but not to the detriment of my newborn son

(D) PLANNING – ACTION OR INACTION

To be completed in June 2018 🙂

Fast forward from June 2017 to December 2017 I can say that highlighting my fears rather then fantasising about dreamy goals has been far more successful for me. Running away from a fear has proved more helpful then running towards a reward.

So in summary – these are very confronting questions you may ask yourself. Your challenges are your own and it’s up to you to decide how you conquer your mountain.

Here is Tim’s TED Talk in full about Fear Setting (13 mins well spent, believe me) 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J6jAC6XxAI

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life’ – Jerzy Gregorek

See you in 2018!

Belinda.

Curiosity over Judgement

Curiosity over Judgement

Hi guys,

Today I’m going to share the ongoing challenge parents face that is discipline and kids. I am only sharing my observations with how Leki and I discipline Emelina and it is an ‘educated trial and error’ process. Your mileage may vary 🙂

One big theme I would like to share first is the mindset or psychology of discipline. The link here can explain in a bit more detail on what I’m talking about but I would like to present this idea in the context of disciplining children.

Our daughter Emelina will be 3yo in March 2018. She is a curious, adventurous, cheeky and a loving little human – she is not special in that regard as it is typical for most children. At this age she will explore her environment and a lot of what she encounters will be for the first time and/or she’s learning how to process something that looks or feels familiar. It is that curiosity that shapes her views on the big wide world.

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Great quote from Alex Charfen!

On a slight tangent we as her parents have experienced this worldly environment for over 32 years. We already know the risks and dangers that exist in this world. We as parents understand the challenges of pouring water into a cup and the risk of spilling it, we have felt the pain of running around outside and falling scraping our knees bare, we know that sharp pointy things can be dangerous, we have felt that immense fear of being lost at a supermarket with unrecognisable people walking by ignoring you – there’s so many examples of pain and suffering we want her to avoid.

In reality there is only so much we can do to create a sense of safety for Eme allowing her to explore her environment by encouraging a healthy dose of curiosity.

Now let’s present this real life example of how we practice Curiosity over Judgement.

We are in the deep throes of toilet training Emelina. She shows signs of being ‘ready to go’ from nappies to undies. When she has a wet nappy it’s soaked up pretty well and so she’s comfortable. Different story when it comes to a dirty nappy – the feeling leaves her irritable and she’s wanting to be changed ASAP. We’ve used this opportunity to get Eme on the training toilet…. but we’re being met with some resistance.

So instead of getting frustrated with her or scolding her to ‘hurry up’ and kaka our code word for no. 2 🙂 or weewee we ask ourselves why she’s not wanting to use the toilet or how can we help her understand that this is a normal part of growing up. Granted it is a challenge to hold a conversation with a 2.5yo but we feel that should not limit you trying. We talk to her as if she’s 6yo but make sure we do it in a way that she feels comfortable and can process what we’re saying at her own pace.

After our initial attempts – 4 weeks in total – without any activity on the loo we trialled a reward system. Instead of promising nice treats or snacks we said that for every successful effort made on the toilet she’ll be rewarded with an Emoji sticker from the popular children’s movie. The result? Two successful weewees in ONE DAY!

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Two thumbs up!

I’ve been following the efforts of Susie at ‘Not-Your-Average-Mom’ blog and she has a great perspective on this theme involving discipline and Kids check it out here.

I don’t believe there’s such a thing as ‘terrible 2s or troublesome 3s’. The challenge will always be there regardless if they’re 2yo and not sleeping at night or 6yo and getting bullied at school or 10yo and wanting to try on make up or 12yo and wanting that new flashy mobile phone or having boy trouble at 15yo or falling pregnant at 18yo. These are all very real scenarios and fears all parents of young girls face but it is our responsibility to help these children grow and help guide them as they navigate their own journey. So how can we ensure we can keep them on the right track? While there’s no perfect solution practising Curiosity over Judgement can certainly cushion the fall.

So, another tough situation we experience with our little one is when we’re sitting in church. Now you can picture the struggle here. A church that can be a place of hushed quiet reflection and you have this child who refuses to sit still or wants to go an explore her new surroundings. How can we teach Eme to understand that there is a time to be playful and there is a time to be still and listen?

We taught her why it’s important to spend time together as a family, sing songs of praise and be grateful for the things we have in our lives. Does she understand completely what’s going on? Probably not. But we explain things to her anyway and more importantly show her by being quiet ourselves and being an example of how to be and act in times of quiet reflection. Any time she decides to act up we correct her behaviour and remind her again that this is not the right time to play. We make it up other times during the week by making sure we play with her so when we ask her for 1 hour of obedience we find that it’s not such of a big demand 🙂

So in short it is not my intention to paint this idyllic scenario where we are living error free and that everything is perfect. Far from it. The difference is that I am always striving to have the perfect day with my husband Leki and our little girl Emelina.

Curiosity over Judgement is helping us and I sincerely hope it helps you too!

Happy days,

Belinda.

1 Year Later…

1 Year Later…

Hi guys,

The first weekend in September our town’s yearly celebration called the Daffodil Festival is on and raging for a full week! It’s a great artsy celebration with exhibitions, food, wine and a street Parade! Check out their Instagram page for a quick idea of what it’s about.

The other reason we mark this time of the year is because it’s ONE YEAR since we moved from the big city to the country. In an earlier post I laid out some of the reasons why we moved and I thought this might be a good time to review how it’s been going over the last 12 months.

Here are the Top 3 positives:

1. Community feel

Our first home was in a growth suburb in Melbourne and the make up of the people were mostly young families with both parents away working long hours. We were one of them too (minus the children)! This left little time to get involved in the community as the little time you have available you’d rather enjoy relaxing at home.

When the time came to start a family we both decided that having someone full time at home was a priority. Emelina arrived and I found the need to be involved in an active community to help with her development. This also helped me build a supportive social network other then my family.

The community feeling in the country is something to behold. There seems to be something on every week and there’s plenty of initiatives, volunteer groups and council run programs to be apart of. To give you an idea of our local involvement which is all in walking distance:

Mon: 10:30am to 11:30am – local library ‘Story Time’ then a play at the playground

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Tues: 10:00am to 11:00am – ‘Mainly Music’ hosted at a local church

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Wed: 10:30am to 12:00pm – ‘Playgroup’ and then 12:30pm is a community lunch for a fresh $5 lunch and dessert all locally produced

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Thurs: 10:30am to 12:00pm – ‘Playgroup’

Fri: Alternates between a Rest Day or ‘Activity Day’ which may vary from gardening, walking to the local park or travelling to the big city for shopping

2. Green and open living

We live on a 1/4 acre property with a big backyard. Yes it takes a lot to maintain compared to a smaller suburban home but we enjoy it! When we first moved to Kyneton Emelina called our backyard the ‘local park’ – when she realised it was actually her own backyard she runs around wild and free until she’s hungry or tired. I must admit it can be a struggle to get her inside sometimes!

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[Backyard Fun!]

I used to get frustrated driving to the local shopping centre in the city as it would take 15 mins longer then it should. There was traffic congestion, ill-tempered drivers, poor infrastructure and it would sometimes leave me feeling overwhelmed. Now, I drive along beautiful tree lined streets, lush green rolling hills and there is only two sets of traffic lights in my town 🙂

There is nothing wrong with living in a big city – I guess I was ready for a change that’s all.

3. Exploring food, sights and sounds

I’m fortunate to live in the Macedon Ranges as it’s a foodie hot spot. I don’t mind the odd fast food takeaway here and there but there are some well established and acclaimed establishments in this region. We have slowly chipped away and visited most of the restaurants on the fashionable Piper St which include:

Major Tom’s – an edgy burger joint that have live music on weekends

Mr. Carsisi – Mediterranean cuisine (we hosted my father-in-law’s birthday last year)

Duck, duck goose Larder – My mother’s favourite when she visits from Melbourne

And much more!

In terms of sights and sounds there is plenty to pick from. There are great walking tracks along Mt. Macedon with plenty of wildlife to see. The Campaspe River flows nearby where we often ride our bikes (weather permitting). Trentham Falls is a short 20 mins drive and in winter and spring the waterfall is fast flowing! There is a horse stud at the end of our street and some farms nearby for Emelina to learn about – alpacas, horses, pigs, sheep, dogs, chickens and cats. It is really a blessing!

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[Trentham Falls]

And the Top 3 Down sides:

1. Distance to ‘big’ convenience stores

I’m a shopaholic. It doesn’t mean I impulsively buy (as I tend to shop around until I feel I have the best deal). Most of the time I like Op Shopping which I’ve explained before here. What I have found to be a challenge is when I ‘need’ something quickly from a large outlet like Target I would have to wait a week until I would be able to visit a store as we have one car we share.

This can be a blessing and a curse as I would think over the week on whether I really need something but when I’m able to visit the retail store I can make the purchase without over thinking it! The closet shopping centre is 45 minutes away so planning is essential.

2. Dangers with black ice/bush fires and wildlife

Where we live there are dangers in both extremes in weather. During the summer our region can get quite dry and the tall dry grass can be tinder for a bush fire. Tragedies like Ash Wednesday in 1983 and Black Saturday 2009 which saw this region black with smoke and saw many lives lost! This is obviously scary for a family of converted city slickers but we follow community fire authority instructions on bush fire preparedness. If in doubt, just pack up and leave until the fire is put out!

At the other end of the spectrum there is black ice during winter. What do you think happens when you mix rainfall overnight coupled with freezing night temperatures? Patches of black ice on the road. Neither of us have encountered black ice as the built up roads and freeway are mostly safe as sensors have been installed but you can never be too careful!

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[Running around the Botanical Gardens in Malmsbury]

Lastly, there is wildlife a plenty here! Leki often comes home telling us that kangaroos hopped by as he was driving! They tend to make an appearance either early morning around 6am or at dusk at 7pm. Other characters he comes across are wombats, koalas and foxes although they are rare sightings! The reason why I have them listed as an issue is that they usually hop in your way while you’re driving. Again, this is rare but in the 12 months we’ve lived here – we’ve sighted only 1-2 kangaroos that almost caused an accident. Near miss!

3. Distance from family and friends

It could be worse like living in another State or overseas but distance from loved ones has been a challenge. We live about an hour away from family and friends which can make things harder in planning regular visits.

We make time usually once a month to visit family which has been difficult as we come from close knit families. It is quite a drive to see each other regularly but when we do catch up we carry on from where we left off last. I must say the distance can be an excuse not to see people but we try very hard to visit friends and family when we can.

Well that’s the short summary of how things have been over the past year and gosh it went very quickly! We genuinely enjoy this new lifestyle and strongly vouch for the benefits of country living. Will we be here forever? Hard to know. But what I do know is that we’re happy.

Would you consider a move to the country? Or maybe try a sea change? Or even shifting interstate or overseas to find the lifestyle has been a blessing for you and your family. I’d love to hear you story!

With love,

Belinda.

Planning Holidays 101

Planning Holidays 101

Hi guys,

Today I wanted to share a little insight into how we plan for small but regular holidays to recharge the mind, body and spirit.

I’m a big believer in a balanced lifestyle. We aim to spend 40% of the time ‘working’, 40% ‘resting’ and 20% ‘living’. These percentages don’t look balanced but let me explain:

Working is what we do throughout the working day. Whether you’re punching in 9am-5pm or looking after the family or a bit of both… over time this can can wear you out!

Resting is what we do for the remainder of working day. It may mean some alone time at home, time out with the family or catching up on sleep.

Living is the time you choose to spend doing what you’re passionate about. One of our passions is planning regular getaways so that we are ‘working’ towards something. We see it as an incentive or reward to push hard during those ‘working’ days.

To give you some context we plan little getaways every 3 months. This has been a good goal for us as we book 6 months in advance so we have something locked in. We used to keep a weekend free every so often to have that time at home but it wasn’t the same recharging feeling like getting away from your usual environment.

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We are big fans of the Big 4 caravan and cabin sites around Australia. We’ve visited:

  • Coburg VIC site in Nov 2016 for 2 nights
  • Batemans Bay NSW during Easter/Apr 2017 for 3 nights
  • Our upcoming adventure is planned for late-Aug to Echuca VIC along the Murray River for 2 nights!

The last holiday for the year is planned for Dec 2017 in the Mornington Peninsula VIC for 5 nights (Christmas family getaway) – YAY!

As you can see 2017 was jam packed with short sharp trips away which refreshes the mind and re-energises the body.

Once upon a time before the family came along I would prefer a sizeable break for 2-4 weeks in one go but now I find better value and feel more rejuvenated with smaller but frequent retreats! Being able to plan ahead and budget accordingly frees up ‘mental space’ knowing that if you’re working away solidly throughout the year you’ll be rewarded with a little getaway.

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I acknowledge that this is a great luxury to be able to get away with your family but it doesn’t have to be extravagant at all. We’ve only started getting away to cabins and caravan parks very recently. Before then we were believers in slogging away for the bulk of the year and taking time off when you could.

The difference now is that we sit and plan the year ahead and commit to regular time off regardless of what’s happening.

How do you organise your family getaways? Do you have any recommendations of campsites or parks? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Belinda.

Can’t Wait Until The Weekend!

Can’t Wait Until The Weekend!

Hi there!

I wanted to share a small insight into a thought I had during the week.

Our personal family situation is that hubby works and I’m the home maker. Leki is blessed to have full time work opportunities and I appreciate the blessing of being a full-time mother.

As you may know – it’s not a luxury being at home or work full time but we all find a way to make things work!

For instance, if the average working day is 8 hours and you work 5 days a week = 40 hours per week. If you are at home – you start work when you wake up and you clock off when you finally get to lay your head at night.

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Both work and the home maker scenarios are different and vary in many aspects but the same stressors exist:

  • Be on time/be there for the family  162332-200
  • Conflict resolution with unhappy customers at work/kids 162332-200
  • Keep high standards of work  162332-200

But the same rewards exist too:

  • Lunch break/rest times  162332-200
  • Keep customers/kids happy  162332-200
  • Making friends with colleagues/other parents from playgroup/school  162332-200

With that in mind – the whole family looks forward to the weekend to blow off some steam and spend some much needed family time. Because Leki works half a Saturday we tend to pre-plan the weekend events.

Now let’s break down the 4 x weekends in a typical month. Two of those weekends will be spent with both sides of the family i.e. 1 week with Leki’s parents or siblings and the other week with my family. That leaves 2 x weekends per month. That’s where a little bit of random fun may take place 🙂 We try and maximise the weekend to really squeeze every little bit out of family time!

Simple things like:

Nature walk (Malmsbury Botanical Gardens)

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Visiting some National Parks (Turpins Falls in Metcalfe VIC)

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Taking Eme to the local playground

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Church (Eme with her Nena)

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Some months are busier then others as there may be celebrations, engagements and work functions to account for!

Sometimes when you have a couple of weeks where you are back to back with different things over the weekend you just want to recharge at home – in peace and quiet :).

Our guilty pleasure is carving out some time to stay indoors flopping our bellies out and being lazy! On these lazy weekends our preference is to watch an entertaining series to tide us over (currently watching The Sopranos) until the return of GoT (Game of Thrones) and YES WE ARE BIG FANS!!

Weekends can be flat out – how do you manage your time? Do you volunteer at the local community group? Are you busy chasing kids at endless sporting/music commitments? Do you work on the weekends?

Whatever you get up to over the weekend may you be safe with your loved ones!

Until next time,

Belinda.

Comfort zone to Country zone!

Comfort zone to Country zone!

Hi everyone,

I’m a city girl at heart. I enjoy the convenience of being near a nice cafe or close enough to my wax lady or having all the shops I enjoy at arms length. You know how it is – suddenly you need something… quick dash to the local shopping centre or maybe you’re dragging your feet to put a meal together… drop in a say hello to Ronald or need a last minute babysitter… family are only a short trip away.

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Now 18 months ago hubby got a work opportunity away from metropolitan Melbourne. 90 mins away from the Melbourne CBD to be exact! Now that’s not really the Outback but for a city girl it might as well be 😉

Making the decision to move was a process that took over 6 months. After tallying up the pros and cons we decided on making the tree change and giving it a go! We moved from our little place near the Airport to Kyneton which is roughly half way between Melbourne and Bendigo.

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As they say the tyranny of distance can ruin convenience. So we have to be all the more prepared and spend some time thinking about when we’ll visit the city to see family, do our bulk shopping at Costco and visit our favourite store for organic supplies Terra Madre.

We enjoy the trip into the city every 4-6 weeks which can act as a pressure valve from ‘cabin fever’. When you live in a regional town you can miss some of the aspects of living in suburbia. But after dealing with city traffic and crazy drivers, feeling overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle and just being bogged down with the noise I must say it is a welcome change heading back to the countryside after our day out.

Now I’m not dismissing a possible return to metropolitan Melbourne but I would encourage you to try something different if your circumstances allow it. We have both been born and raised in the suburbs and have no links to regional Australia but I must say it has been such a great experience.

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We are approaching our first winter in the region and given we are along the Macedon mountain range some morning temperatures are -5 degrees Celsius. So I don’t want to pump it up too much until we get through our first cold season.

Wish us luck 🙂

Have a great day,

Belinda.