Sunday, 13 April 2014

Reigniting the love

 

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There are a lot of reasons bloggers take a break from blogging.  For some they simply don’t have time, other commitments, new jobs, new babies or just need to walk away and breathe.  My reason - I fell out of love with my blog. And really, if I didn’t love it and enjoy posting, how could anyone enjoy spending time here and reading. falling out of love happened over a period of time.  I was learning new things and trying them out and found I was spending more time tweaking than posting. More and more things I wanted to post ended up sitting in draft mode.

What made me post today? I realised that I missed my blog (aawwwwwww). I missed that teeny tiny spot on the WWW that is mine. Mine to share stories of my family, share things that make me laugh, be funny, be serious. OK, I’m not serious very often, but here, if I want to be here, I can :) I missed the interaction with readers who gave me another point of view, shared in my happiness and virtually hugged me when I needed it. I guess I missed “blogging therapy”.

My blog and I are going to take our renewed relationship slow. No committing to posting x times a week. No deciding on a direction we want to take, we are just going to go with the flow and enjoy ourselves.

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Monday, 30 September 2013

Review: Philips PerfectCare Aqua

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When my boys were younger, I had a weekly ritual. Friday night, after they had gone to bed, I would get out the ironing board, pop it in the lounge room and iron while I watched whatever movie was on. Now, I'm pretty sure back then, I was ironing things that didn't really need it - sheets, tablecloths, t-shirts etc, but I found that little weekly ritual relaxing. I had always been an ironer. It was one of the first "big girl" jobs that my mum let me do.

When I was asked to try the new Philips PerfectCare Aqua, I wondered why I stopped this ritual. Was it that I didn't have as many things that needed ironing, did I not have the time, had it become a chore? I do remember that about two years ago, my ironing board got put out in the hard rubbish as it had seen better days and I replaced it with one of those smaller table ironing boards.the plan was to use that on the bench in the laundry, but everyone kept popping stuff on the bench, and I had to clear it every time I wanted to use it - annoying! I even bought one of those steaming irons thinking that would be better, but I couldn't really use it in my laundry and if I set it up in the kitchen, of course that would be the time that everyone needed to be in there so it was just inconvenient. So, apart from Josh's work shirts, I stopped ironing regularly.

When the Philips PerfectCare Aqua arrived after I agreed to test it out, I freaked out a little - what on earth was I going to iron? I'm sure just ironing two or three work shirts for Josh wouldn't be very interesting. So began the hunt. Opening my wardrobe door and having a good look, I found a few shirts that I always bypass wearing because after I wash them they need ironing. Hmmmm, I think I accidentally found a whole new summer wardrobe in there without going shopping!

The Philips PerfectCare Aqua is the latest in a range of revolutionary steam generators and makes getting those annoying creases out of your clothing a speedy and simple experience. What I loved about the Philips PerfectCare Aqua was I could iron any item of clothing without having to worry about the temperature setting. I used to sort the clothes into piles of temperature settings – delicate through to denim so I could adjust the iron accordingly. With the Philips PerfectCare Aqua, I was able to iron the shirts pictured above (viscose, cotton, silk, polyester) without worrying about the pre-sort.The Philips PerfectCare Aqua maintains a perfect combination of temperature and steam using OptimalTemp technology so there was no need to adjust temperature settings or worry about burning clothes. It has a SteamGlide soleplate so it glided across the clothes without sticking.
The Philips PerfectCare Aqua iron only weighs 1kg so it was also nice and light compared to my iron. I loved how quickly it was ready for use (2 mins) – no more waiting for the iron to reach the temperature needed.being able to use the iron 3 ways was an added bonus – ironing without steam, steam ironing using the steam trigger and steam ironing using the steam boost function. The only issue I had the the iron overall was the position of the steam button. I found I was accidently pressing it occasionally as I normally hold my iron up high on the handle. I’m sure that’s one thing that I would used to after using the iron over a period of time.
For more information on the Philips PerfectCare Aqua head over to the Philips website
*Disclosure: I was sent a Philips PerfectCare Aqua to try for this review. Images and video, other than my own, were supplied for use in this review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Digital Parents August Blog Carnival…. Finally :)

 

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

Welcome to the Digital Parents August Blog Carnival!! It feels like forever since I put my name down on the list to host the blog carnival and ironically, I’m hosting for a month where everything has gotten in the way of my own blogging, so I can’t even link up one of my own posts :(

So, get comfy. Grab a cuppa and a snack. Sit back and enjoy reading these awesome blog posts from July 2013.  I’m sure you will laugh, cry, learn and say “doh” a few times before you get through the list.

Enjoy

Nat xx

 

Two Little Humans and Me by Melissa
A Place to Call Home
Life as Mum with two little humans (and a husband) on life's big adventure!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Where the Wild Things Were by Lydia
How to blog & tweet without getting sued
Legal implications for our children growing up in the digital media
Twitter

 

Oculus Mundi  by Alison
My own tips for bloggers
Every now and then I read "professionals" telling people how to blog. I often disagree with what they have to say. So, in the grand tradition of loudly airing my opinion, whether you want it or not, here are my own tips for bloggers.
Twitter

 

Little Bento Blog By Yvette
Having fun with Cereal
Three recipes to help step away from using cereal just for breakfast! Great school holiday treats.
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Flying Drunken Monkey by Cassie
Free Printable - What to Pack when Camping with a Toddler
Sharing a free downloadable printable for packing for camping with a toddler.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Becci's Domestic Bliss by Becci
Tucker Tuesday ~ Recipe: Honey Crackles
Honey Crackles are one of those childhood treats that I haven't made in years! So I thought it was about time I introduced my boys to them.
Facebook

 

Two Point Five Kids by Lisa
Get out the Tissues and Hug your Children
A wake up call that made all the petty stuff go away and let me just LOVE my kids and be grateful.
Facebook

 

No Excuses!  by Lisa
One shoe off and one shoe on…………….diddle diddle dumpling my son……….
When taking children to visit friends and family, they are expected to be polite, obedient, well behaved and have lovely manners; these conditions are expected of them however, at times some children just seem to forget no matter how well the children have been taught!!
Twitter
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The Wildflowers by Jessi
Climbing tree and recovery. 
4 out of 4 kids were at the end of their sickness so we headed out for sunshine and tree climbing which = everyone feeling much better!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Your Cheeky Monkey by Monique
5 Foods you can Freeze
In this post I discuss 5 Foods I freeze to help save time and money in the kitchen.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Reflections From a Redhead by Janine
The Perils of Working from Home
I've been working from home lately, and it's been great. There are a few minor issues though. Here are the perils I've identified from working from home.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Mums on the Go by Linda
Help me Bra Queen!
I  have been wearing a maternity bra for most of the past 6 years and in fact ALL of the past 3 years! It has been a long time since I have shopped for a "real" bra let alone something that makes me feel sexy. The sudden self weaning of my baby caught me by surprise so I turned to the Bra Queen for some advice
Twitter
Facebook

 

Have a laugh on me by Emily
A break in transmission from cutting remarks, piss-taking and humour
I interrupted my regular programming of cutting remarks, sarcasm and piss-taking to ask the blogging community for advice on how to help my three-year-old be happy again. The response I had was overwhelming.
Twitter
Facebook

 

You learn something new every day by Emily
Newborns look wisdomous
Newborns have all the wisdom of the world in their cute little bobble-heads. But we dumb it down with goo's and gah's.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Mrs D plus 3 by Robyn
Post Natal Depression:
I have opened up for the first time ever about my experiences with Post Natal Depression. I really hope that my story touches someone, somewhere, you may need it!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Fit Mother Hubbard by Anita
Bupa Blog Finalist, Fun in the Sun & The Gold Coast Half
Here you will find out how we incorporate family, fitness & fun so that everyone's happy.
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Facebook

 

Home Sweet Kitchen and Garden by Nathalie
SLAMMED
Why are (m)others so quick to judge (m)others
Twitter
Facebook

 

Happy Shambles by Anna
F is for Fail
Finding Parenting 1B (5-9 years) a challenge? You're not alone. There are rewards - if you can find them. You just have to look closely.

 

Money Mummy by Shelley
Is Costco Membership Worth It?
To Costco or not to Costco - this is the question... check out my findings...
Twitter
Facebook

 

Dr Leanne Winter - Raising Boys by Leanne
The Parenting Paradox - What The?
Have you heard the phrase “All joy and no happiness” in relation to parenting? In the literature they call it the parenting paradox.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Raising Boys 2 plus 1 by Victoria
Toddler Activity - making bird feeders
Instructions on how to make a bird feeder with children
Facebook

 

FreshHomeCook by Jodie
Whole Orange & Chia Seed Cake with Coconut Cream Ganache
Recipe using fresh seasonal naval oranges.
Twitter
Facebook

 

BTsoi Blogs by Bernice
Learning Piano
A peek into our son's self-motivated piano lessons and my attempt to balance my inner Tiger Mom with the Montessori method.
Twitter

 

The Muddle-Headed Mamma by Lizzy
A Zorse is a Zorse, of Course of Course
A post about a little game my son and I play and a little song we made up about unusual animals.
Twitter

 

Little Red & Her Writing by Lauren
Little Red's Head to Toe Web Suggestions- Best Websites for the Wellbeing of Women in Small Business
This post is designed to be a check list for Busy Mums, especially Mums in Business, who occasionally need to focus on themselves and their health. It is a short list of all my favourite resources as a Registered Nurse and a Mum of two, and I hope it helps even just one Mum to get into gear and focus on their overall health.
Twitter
Facebook

 

moderate-severe/profound...quirky by Melinda
Going the whole hog
A sweet tale about one little girl's adoration for a novelty hog. Their eyes met across the themed restaurant and, for her, it was love at first sight.
Twitter

 

Muvva - Blogging and Mum-ing: a parental odyssey by Muvva
Parents Inc.
This post is about the transition from work-life to Mum-life, now that I don't have any Key Performance Indicators to rate how good a job I am doing.

 

FULLHALFGLASS by Mark
Nursing – as explained to an invading Overlord
How would you describe what a nurse does to an invading alien overlord? The answer is here!
Twitter

 

My Little Sunshine House by Zanni
The Red Balloon
A child watches her balloon fly away. This is what happened.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Happy Suburban Chick by Fran
Do you struggle with Housework?
Explores a new perspective to housework and chores or should I say caring for our homes and doing important tasks.
Twitter

 

Dadinating the Countryside by Seamus
Outings with a small child
My guide to running errands with a toddler in tow; how to survive and what to expect.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Adventures in Jedi by Dida
Tips for traveling with a toddler... long distance... by air
Some survival tips from a rookie mum on traveling long distance by air with an active toddler.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Mama Going Solo  by Emily
Travelling With Children Part II
Some tips on travelling with children, including games for controlling energetic youngsters, rehearsals, and the danger of relying on older offspring to watch the younger!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Gammon & Chips by Maddie
Depeche Mode at The O2
A rare night out in the big smoke of London for Aussie expat mummy seeing her favourite band of all time, Depeche Mode, at The O2 Arena.
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Crafty Mummy by Tonya
Tips for Stitching with Kids
Even if you're not a great crafter yourself, it can be fun to teach the kids some basic sewing stitches and I have tips to help you.
Twitter
Facebook

 

10% Inspired by CJ
Welcome to the Social Media road
We teach our kids a healthy respect for the road, so that when they eventually cross on their own, they can do so safely... the virtual world is just another environment, and they have to know how to navigate it.
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Black Stamp by Cassandra
Sex Work - regulation and stigma
A killer should do exactly the same amount of time for the murder of a sex worker in a dark alley as a nun at noon on the steps of town hall, because every life is of equal value, and so long as they weren't hurting anyone, everyone has an equal right to be safe at all times!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Chapter Fifteen by Amy
Green-Power Pancakes
My super amazing and delicious GREEN pancake recipe!
Don't let their colour fool you, they're great for everyone who wishes they were a superhero. Packed full of delicious goodness, and your kids won't even know they are eating veggies!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Family Gathering by Amanda
Hobbiton - a touch of Hollywood in rural New Zealand
A post about our visit to Hobbiton in New Zealand - and why all families should visit even if they are not Lord of the Ring or Hobbit fans.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Racheous by Rachel
Why We Montessori
We use Montessori methods to cultivate a life-long love of learning, discovery and challenging, self-awareness, self-confidence; and so that my children feel they can contribute, are heard and valued.
Twitter
Facebook

 

Mumabytes by Katie
When Tots Hit
A sneak peek into the the "hitting" phase that has kicked in at the Mumabytes camp. Take cover!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Meetoo by Kate
Artea
A review of Artea's Friday morning creative time sessions for mums and pre schoolers
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Last Degree by Lisa
Count down to the revolutionary newest Blogging Platform on the internet!
Hi guys this is HOT HOT HOT off the press and still bit secret but I want to share with you today some super new stuff for you…
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Bub Sweat and Tears by Pip
10 Things That Make a Healthy Mum
Highlighting emotional and physical ideas to get healthier when you're a parent.
Twitter
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Gold Coast Mum by Gold Coast Mum
Why I’m glad I’m not Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge)
Parenthood has brought me endless love and cuddles, snot bubbles and tantrums, new friends and new experiences.
For celebs and royals, how different, or isolating, is becoming a new mum?
Twitter
Facebook

 

Mumma Tells by Bec
Rubber Ducky, YOU'RE The One
On filth harbouring bath toys... and a preventative cleaning measure to say goodbye to mould smugglers for good!
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Urban Ma by Jacqui
Chase Kitchen - the new kid on the block
Always on the lookout for the next big thing in kid-friendly, parent-friendly cafes, The Urban Ma visits Chase Kitchen.
Twitter
Facebook

 

dear olive by Kellie
Negative Cycle 
Talking parenting problems.


Parent Wellbeing by Jodie
Why losing weight is a lot like parenting…
How is losing weight like raising your kids to be their best? Believe it or not, both goals share some similarities...
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Mums Group by Erin
My week as a single parent
I spent a week as a single parent while my husband was away for work, and to say it was extremely difficult, is an understatement!
Twitter
Facebook

 

Checks and Spots by Claire
The One Small Change That Will Have The Biggest Impact on Your Health
Let’s cut straight to the chase and ask 13 bright sparks who have a unique perspective on health and wellness to share one lifestyle tweak that will get BIG results.
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Our Interstate Holiday for Six - Under $2500!

Now that the boys are getting older, planning family holidays is getting harder and harder.  This time we had six out of the seven of us and Matthew was definitely missed :( It was six days of beautiful Gold Coast weather (of course it rained on the last day) which was a lovely escape for the Melbourne chill.

Being forever budget conscious, I enjoy taking time to plan holidays and looking for deals to get the best price possible.  I booked our flights last year with Jetstar, making use of their price guarantee. Total cost for 6 return flights from Melbourne to the Gold Coast  $323.52.

I had a great time researching accommodation. I kept looking at deals online that would accommodate the 6 of us.  So many deals look really good until you read that they are only for two adults and two children which does not translate into any kind of deal for five adults and one child! I’m signed up for all of the “deal” emails – Groupon, Scoopon, Spreets/OurDeal etc and OurDeal is where I found our accommodation. We stayed at the Gold Coast Holiday Park in one of their beautiful two bedroom luxury villas for six nights. Included in the deal was four kid’s breakfasts, which Jacob enjoyed down by the pool each morning, four x pedal car and kayak hires and two hours hire of their tennis court.  They also put on a pancake breakfast for guests on Sunday mornings and a sausage sizzle of Tuesday nights! Total cost for the six of us $848.

Getting around on a holiday involves a people mover for us which excludes us from getting “upgrade” deals so I had to hunt around for a deals that involved extra time.  I was pretty happy with the deal I got at Budget. A Hyundai iMax for the week set me back $488.40.  Got to say, I loved driving it and it had sooooo much room!!

Of course what is a trip to the Gold Coast without a theme park visit.  We decided on Dreamworld even though we had been there before we knew that we wouldn’t have to worry about height restrictions on the rides for Jacob.  The tickets we bought are valid until November, which is good since two of the boys look like heading back up later on in the year and that’s money they won’t need to spend.  Our tickets gave us entry to Dreamworld, Whitewater World and the Skypoint Observation Deck.  Total entertainment cost $574.89

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Wanted

An unexpected saving was finding out I could prepay for my airport parking at Tullamarine Airport.  The cost for leaving my car parked for a week $53.86 opposed to nearly $80 if I had simply paid on the way out!

I had set myself a budget of $2500 for this holiday and ended up under budget at $2288.67 so I was pretty proud of myself. Now to look for the next deal…………….

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