{The Birthday List} What I have learnt this year

So every year some time around my birthday I complete a list of all the things I have learnt in the last 12 months. It’s far from a comprehensive list (one would hope I learn more than 30-something things a year) but I really enjoy reminding myself how far I have come and what I have come to realise about those around me, my life and more importantly myself.

So here we go the 2017 edit:

  1. You will get a chocolate Labrador puppy who you love madly and will make your every day brighter, but she will eat your shoes.
  2. You will recover from postnatal depression but you will never be the same. Something has intrinsically changed in you forever.
  3. You will be paid actual money for writing. Some might even call you a freelance writer.buganni
  4. Your husband is a solid 10 and continues to make you a better version of yourself.
  5. She who forgets to add baking powder ends up not rising to the occasion.
  6. Your little sister will get married and it will go swimmingly – dolphins and all!
  7. The world will seem quite dark some days but your children will remind you of the sunshine.
  8. Despite the fact you have two children who sleep really well your third will not.
  9. No matter how many times you try, you still hate eggplant.
  10. You will finally convince the hubs that a Kitchenaid and a Thermomix are two very different appliances and you need both.
  11. You learn that you can’t keep expecting different reactions from the same people. Some people are just sucky.
  12. Dumplings are always a good option.
  13. Pelvic floor exercises are no longer an optional way to spend time, they are an essential element to everyday.
  14. You will go on your first cruise, get weird seasickness but love every moment and realise how important girl weekends away are.bugshayne
  15. Hangovers and children are the worst combination.
  16. You cannot please everyone.
  17. Your toddler will use sleep withdrawal as a torture method. You. Will. Survive.
  18. You will basically break your toe while walking up the aisle at your sister’s wedding. I warn you not to look to your other sisters for emotional support, they only offer laughter and sarcasm. Bennett_0509
  19. Even though you thought you had reached premium procrastination levels before, this year you will achieve a whole new skillset. Enter Youtube cute goat videos.
  20. You join the gym and actually like it. Then you get pregnant and nearly pee all the time so stop going. Just promise yourself that you will join the gym after the new baby.
  21. The kids will eat basically anything in a wrap. Keep wraps in high supply.
  22. Pregnancy is tiring. You already knew that, but this time especially.
  23. You will continue to have friends who are closer than blood ever was.
  24. Macaroni & cheese is an entire meal for three children under six.
  25. Letting go isn’t a thing you do once, it is often an action that has to happen over and over again. bugshayne2
  26. Listen to podcasts. They teach you stuff about things.
  27. Despite all the nay-sayers you do wear all seven pairs of your sunglasses on a fairly acceptable rotation system.
  28. As frustrating as studying law is, you are so much closer than this time last year.
  29. Not everything has to be perfect all of the time.
  30. You will still hide in the laundry from your children some days.
  31. Don’t say maybe when you actually want to say no. You’re only hurting yourself.
  32. The heartbreak from missing loved ones never goes away, but it does eventually change to a dull ache.
  33. Some people just let you down but you can’t fix them.
  34. Good coffee matters.
  35. People in power are not always good but the good people don’t always seek the power.
  36. For the second year in a row you will not need any moles removed. Just remember though, you are basically one big mole so don’t get too comfortable.
  37. You are enough.bugcruise

{The Nest Writes} Why I let my daughter watch the news

The world has been quite senseless lately and as an adult I have days where I really am struggling to understand the whys. Having said that, I still find myself aching to know what is happening around the world and who it is affecting.

I have heard that a lot of people are stopping their children from being exposed to the news. That people are blanket banning news from their homes and in particular the eyes and ears of their children.

I am the opposite, don’t get me wrong I don’t sit on the lounge with my six year old and make her watch the graphic London footage, but it is on in the background. Her father and I continue to have conversations about events like those that are shaping our world.

My daughter understands that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that you can’t live your life in fear. She recognises that there are extreme people who don’t represent all people and they choose to do nasty things.

Just last night I had a discussion with her about different faiths and how you can’t simply categorise all people into the same basket. The conversation started because she had heard the term “All Muslims are terrorists”.

We spoke about how the Islamic faith is actually one of the most peaceful religions in the world, but that some people choose to interpret it entirely differently. Much like how some people can choose to read the Catholic bible differently to most.

A six year old has blind faith and she doesn’t see a reason to discriminate or judge others and that is the exact reason why I think it is important for her to see what is happening in the world. I don’t want her to hear parts of news, jokes or judgments from small minded people and think that’s how we should all feel.

I have zero psychological qualifications and to be honest am probably breaking some cardinal rule that I am not aware of but if I engulf her with protection now and ban all news reporting and coverage then how does she build her own impression of the world? airport copy

There are some really horrible things that happen in the world but I can’t change those things. What I can do instead, is to start a conversation with her.

We heard on the news a few weeks ago about a baby that had been abandoned by his mother, so that started a brief conversation about mental health and depression and the importance of watching those around us for signs.

We saw another story about a 13 year old who had reportedly been approached on the way to school by a strange man. So this time we were able to discuss the importance of stranger danger and being aware of our surroundings.

On the news we saw Prince Harry and his involvement in the Invictus Games. So that started a conversation about wounded war veterans and the support they might need when they return home.

We watched an article about childhood obesity rising in Australia so we were able to discuss ‘sometimes foods’ and the importance of exercise.

My greatest fear is that if I protect her too strongly one day she will realise what a lie she has been told. I think it is really important not to raise a naïve little person who does not see the difference between good and evil, and as unfortunate as what it is, if she doesn’t also see bad she won’t be able to appreciate the endless good that also exists.

I want my children to ask questions, I need them to want to justify things that are completely unjustifiable. The reason for this is so they can understand just how unfair the world can be. I don’t want her to grow up believing that everything will go her way because sometimes life doesn’t discriminate the goodies from the baddies but regardless you still have to stay a goodie.

I truly believe that anything that starts a conversation is good, she needs to feel free to approach me about things she hears or how it affects the world around her. Turning off the news only shelters them for a little while and isn’t it better to let them learn coping skills instead?

I would love to hear your opinions, maybe I am completely off-field but in a world that is changing and evolving ever so quickly it’s nice to have an open discussion already on foot about all types of topics with the youngest minds around us.

 

{This is life} What to do in your dead time

Successful people seems to have this whole time management thing down pat. Seriously, you don’t hear people like Oprah or Richard Branson twiddling their thumbs between meetings and making paper aeroplanes do you?

Well, I reckon, in my highly unqualified yet enthusiastic opinion that these people know how to utilise time in their day for better purposes. You know when you do your things during the day, brush your teeth, drop the kids at school, have a shower and then the little bits of time between doing those daily tasks is a thing I call ‘dead time’.

Dead time is often only a few minutes but it is time that can easily be absorbed by doing nothing, or you know twiddling thumbs and making paper aeroplanes. It took me a while to realise (because I am el-averageo at maths) that just five minutes a day of dead time adds up to 35 minutes a week or nearly two and half hours a month. If you really want to get drastic it is 30 hours a year! So there is 30 hours of your year that is just dead time.

It is unlikely you are relaxing because any good chilling takes more than five minutes to achieve. You’re not likely to be doing anything particularly effective, nor are you likely to be motivated. So, that my friends is where dead time comes in.

You can choose to utilise your dead time in a magnitude of ways. I have recently found that doing a little bit of mental health rehab during my dead time has assisted me greatly.

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE

I have discovered a love of TED Talks. The talks are brilliant and I literally dare you to not be interested in at least one of the talks. TED talks are based on the philosophy of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. These talks range from motivational to emotional, moving to inspirational. The cover form and function, emotion and technology. They are a brilliant way to learn a lot about something in a very short amount of time.

If you like listening then I am sure you could find a podcast that is to your liking. Podcasts are literally everywhere and are the easiest way to find out about anything you have ever wondered about. The topics and content associated with podcasts are varied and often unexpected but informative and entertaining. You can listen to commercial radio or investigations into crime. You can learn about cosmic energy or learn about each song the Spice Girls ever made. They are great to listen to while driving or even vacuuming. Keep you brain active and you will be rewarded – well at least your trivia game will be next level strong.

LIST IT

If you take a couple of minutes of dead time and prepare a couple of lists of things that need to be done you will shortly realise how much of a big difference that can make to you. Just a simple list of house chores or a grocery list can help assist your mind to be clear. I find the simplest list of all is preparing a meal plan breakdown for our family. If I do this I save myself from the ridiculous anxiety of having to think what to feed the family every night, it doesn’t seem like much but it really makes a difference.

list

MEDITATE LIKE A BOSS

Meditation is the simplest way to achieve clarity and possible the best way to utilise five minutes of dead time. There are a bunch of apps that can help get you in your happy place and recharge you quicker than you can say ‘I need 8 hours sleep’. Check out the ‘buddhify’ ‘Calm’ or ‘Headspace’ Apps to get you started.

TAKE ME TO BED

Make your bed. This job literally takes three minutes at the ABSOLUTE maximum and makes you feel good all bloody day.

bed

CLUTTER IN THE GUTTER

Choose a place in your house and chuck the crap. I find the handbag is the el-grando cluttering spot in my house – that or the dining table so I often spend no more than two minutes literally chucking out the receipts and bits of paper that clutter your house and build up without you really knowing. You generally don’t need more than a couple of minutes to really make a big difference.

CUP OF LIFE

Make a cup of tea and just sit. Don’t let it get cold on the bench. Don’t talk a phone call. Just make a full cup of tea and drink it in one sitting. Often as a parent you don’t prioritise the power of a cuppa but those Brits are on to something I am sure of it. In my house we have recently implemented the following motto “first we drink the tea then we do the things”.

tea

LANGUAGE UP

Did you ever think you could learn a language in just a few minutes everyday? Download an app and then just learn a word or two a day. You might not be speaking fluent Japanese within a week but you will eventually get there. Eventually you can improve your skill by reading a newspaper online in the language that you are learning. Just a few minutes can make your tongue more talented.

JOURNAL

Get a journal and write in it. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, all the cool kids are doing it because once you write something it sticks with you. Did you know schools like Harvard actually refuse to let their students take notes on computers – rather telling them to bring a notepad and pen. Write down your feelings, write down your day, heck just write what you are grateful for. A good mind makes for good health.

journal

BE MINDFUL

The moment you recognise how much difference can be made by just doing little things in your dead time the more successful you will be. Being mindful is not something you will learn overnight but I promise once you realise how much more valuable your time can be you will realise its importance and just how quickly it can add up.

 

*IMAGES: Pinterest*

{The Nest Writes} Why I no longer say “have a great day”

Why I no longer say have a great day.

A little while ago I said to my daughter as she clambered out of the car in front of her school “have a great day honey”, she said “I will, I always do”. When I picked her up that afternoon I said “Did you have a great day?”. “Yep” she said. Always wanting more information I pushed “So, what did you do?”. “Nothin’ mama”. “So did you learn anything”. “Nope”. “Who did you play with?”. “Don’t remember”.

I was deflated, she either didn’t have fun, she didn’t want to tell me or she simply could not be stuffed mustering the effort to involve me in her day.

So, my new plan was hatched.

The next morning we pulled into the illegal bus zone and as she collected her belonging I said “Honey, have a great adventure today”. She paused and inquisitively looked at me. “what did you say mama?”. I smiled at her and said, “Have a great adventure”. She giggled, kissed my cheek and her skinny, lanky little legs climbed over the front seat and out the door. a1

When I pulled up that afternoon, she came running to the car. She was almost breathless and said “mama, I had a great adventure, today I had a great adventure!!”. She then went onto to tell me the story of her adventure “Well, this morning I dropped all my library books but a girl I didn’t know from year 4 helped me pick them up. Then my teacher, you know ma, that lady that is like you but at school? Yeah her well, she sang a song about a goanna and made us pretend to be goannas. Do you know how hard it is to be a goanna mum?? Then at lunch we found a lizard in the back oval, but we didn’t touch it cause Finn said they can bite. Then I drew a picture of an owl, it was funny because I thought the blue crayon was actually purple! But it wasn’t HA! Then it was time to come home and you are here!, so a pretty interesting adventure today”.

I was shocked to see the same blonde haired babe who yesterday barely managed to mumble two words remembering in such detail what she had experienced that day. 

I realised she had done nothing new or vastly different from her normal days at school, but instead just paid more attention to the mundane everyday adventure of her life so she could tell me all about her ‘great adventure’. a2

So, I tried it the next day and the next.

Every single day it worked. She would collect into her little memory bank the list of stories to tell me about her great adventure each day. It was like the way she looked at her day had changed, she all of sudden paid a little more attention to each small adventure she experienced each day.

So in our family we no longer do “have a great day”, we are a family of “have a great adventure”.

Give it a try, you might be surprised.

 

{The Nest Loves} 10 (unexpected) Tips for Staying in the Christmas Mood

Do you remember how magic of Christmas never failed to show when we were kids? As soon as the weather got hotter and the holiday season grew near, we were already in a jolly spirit. As kids, we had full attention of our parents and all the free time in the world to enjoy ourselves – everything that we gradually lost with growing up. Daily stress, worries, responsibilities and fast pace of life all contribute to forgetting that holiday spirit and joy. Still, you should never forget how much getting into the holiday spirit can actually feel relaxing and therapeutic. Check out the following tips that could help you stay in the Christmas mood even after the Christmas, and you may be able to rediscover the magic and wonders of Christmas again! 

Dress for the occasion

It might seem silly, but the way you dress as well as wearing seasonal colors can really help with getting you into the Christmas mood. So, don’t be afraid to rock some sequin tops as well as a lot of reds and greens. If you like to stick to plain colors, an effective detail such as a long, fluffy red scarf can really do the trick.red

Holiday makeupmakeup

Holidays make for the perfect opportunity to try out a bit bolder makeup looks. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to go all out with full face of makeup every day, but feel free to step out of your comfort zone as well. Glitter on the eyes and bolder shades of lipsticks are perfectly acceptable during this time of year and they can assist in getting you all jolly as well.

Holiday scents wreath

Other great way to relax and enjoy the holiday season is by filling your home with holiday scents. Make sure to prep your home and keep it clean by using air purifiers for allergies and then light up some scented Christmas candles.

Play some Christmas movies

movie

Most people can afford lazy evenings in. So, if you’re used to relaxing after a busy day at home, why not play some Christmas movies, too? Pick the ones that you loved the most and allow yourself to reminiscent about the past. That way, you might even retrace your steps back to that fulfilling holiday joy.

Casual night coca

If you don’t really enjoy watching movies, you can still organize yourself a casual and relaxing night in with a cup of mulled wine and your favorite Christmas music. And if you don’t like wine, you can always make hot cocoa. So festive and cozy.

Hit the kitchen kitchen

Making Christmas cookies isn’t difficult by any means, but it is definitely worth it for getting you into that much desired Christmas mood. Just try it and you’ll have a blast with both making and eating gingerbread men.

The above-mentioned tips are simple and low-effort things that anyone can find the time for. But it’s the little things that actually mean a lot. Make sure to try some of them yourself and jump into that Christmas mood which was so natural and fulfilling when you were a child.

This article was contributed by Claire Hastings.

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{The Nest Loves} The DailyGreatness Journal may just turn your life around

daily greatness logo

 

I am the Kween of procrastination, promises of tomorrow and ‘gunnas’ but I have finally found something to help reign in my poor excuses and bad food choices.

Friends, let me introduce you to the DailyGreatness Journal.

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The premise of these little beauties accourding to their creator Lyndelle Palmer Clarke is that you can “be your own guru, the journals help to empower you to consciously create your days, help you reach your potential and support you in realising you are the architect of your destiny”.

You can choose between either the Daily Greatness Journal, the Daily Greatness Business Planner, Yoga Journal or Training Journal (12 week). journals

I am planning on getting my chubby little mitts on the DailyGreatness 12 week Training Journal, how brillz will that be during the lead up to summer?

What feature I love the most is that the journals offer a holistic training guide, especailly targeted towards women. Plus, any help to be healthier and live longer is great!

daily

In addition, if you know me at all you will know what a ridiculous stationary addict I am, and thankfully these journals are not only good for my health but also my eyeballs! Offering high quality paper, beautiful luscious designs as well as the kick in the arse I need, it really is a match made in heaven.

Pop over and check out the store at DailyGreatness today.

Happy life planning Nesters xx

 

 *DailyGreatness & The Central Nest are affiliates, so when you purchase from them you are helping our little blog x

{Raising Little People} To the Thirtysomething Mums

I love mamas that speak the truth, they say what I am thinking but sometimes can’t quite find the words for. This article by Littles Love and Sunshine articulates perfectly the moment I am in.

This article is wonderfully accurate. thirtysomething

To the Thirtysomething Mums

Happy reading nesters x