{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.


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.


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.



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.


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



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.


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”.



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.


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.



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 Resolutions} The things that make me better

Having three little people under  7 and another on the way means life can be super busy for me and easily becomes overwhelming. So, in an effort to stay on pointe this year I have made several resolutions that I refuse to break.book


I make lists. Like loads and loads of lists.

Lists on jobs to do around the house. Lists of items to write about on the blog for you lovely people. Lists reminding me when the girls have swimming lessons and doctor’s appointments, school events and sports day at school. Lists to remind me about all the little things that it takes to keep our little nest turning over day after day.

I write lists not only to remember to do things but to feel good when I tick off the box next to it acknowledging that’s another job done. I find it really helps when I am feeling overwhelmed or like even though I am doing a bazillion things nothing is really getting done.


I cannot even tell you how much difference this will make to your life if you haven’t already tried this. Not only is that horrid decision of what to eat today already made for you, it means you save a whole tonne of casholi as well. No longer do you walk around aimlessly at the supermarket buying bits and pieces of meals to realise when you get home you have missed a crucial ingredient.

I write mine up on the menu board (from KMART)  on the pantry each week so everyone in the house knows what we are having that day.

You will also notice a massive reduction in wastage (especially fruit and veg)


This is an easy one. I make my bed every morning so that each time I enter my room throughout that day it feels clean and organised. A messy space leads to a messy mind. I dare you try it for one week and see if your mood improves.


I resolve to not sweat all this little stuff. I have always been quite organised and strive for near perfection in everything I do, but following the birth of my third child, Coco I was diagnosed with post-natal depression and the world around me collapsed. I was so focused on making sure everything was perfect that I ended up doing 100 jobs but none of them well. As much as it is hard to remind myself some days, not everything can be perfect all of the time.  When I am feeling overwhelmed I take a step back and pick out what really matters.


I clean the dinner dishes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If you wake up to a clean kitchen to make a pot of coffee in the morning it makes everything smoother. This really makes a crucial difference to me but it took a long time to get in the habit of not just sitting on the lounge absorbed into primetime television after dinner. If you form the habit then you reap the rewards. Trust me!

So nesters, what makes your days easily?

{Read Up} Reading Challenge 2017

As much as I love reading I never seem to find enough time. It is always something that gets pushed to the background of my busy day and every so often pops its little head out right as I climb into bed and I manage to indulge in a few pages of one of the four books on my bedside table.

I truly believe there are two types of people in the world, those who only read one book at a time and those who have several on the go at one time. I am solidly the second type.

So, as a challenge to myself (and now you!) I have put together a reading challenge for 2017.

Here you go:

Reading challenge 2017

Here’s to finding time to explore the written word in 2017.

Let me know how you go! Did I miss anything that should be added next time?

{School Days} How to settle in, make nice and not piss off your school

So it has been a few weeks in most places since the little birdies started big school.

From what I have heard, some settled in well, like they have been doing it all their lives and others are taking a little longer to adjust.

Just remember, however long it takes IT. WILL. GET. BETTER.

It might not seem that way now, but I promise you, one day soon, you will realise that it has been a day without tears, a week without fears, a term of growth and your little person has found their way into the world.

So, with that in mind we recently sat down with an actual real-life kindergarten teacher (who we shall call Miss Mac) and discussed a bunch of stuff including ways to help settle your little one in, how to make nice with the other parents and how not to piss off your school.Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

1. Make life easier for your teacher

Your teacher will appreciate if you can bring in your own tissues and hand sanitiser.  Some people may not realise, but teachers are often required to provide this from their own personal pocket. Just a box here and there will really be appreciated (and it takes VERY little effort to add another box to the trolley on grocery day!)

2. Size does matter

No big pencil cases! They simply take up too much space on the little birdy’s desk! Miss Mac says last year she had one student bring in three different pencil cases. One for pencils. One for crayons. One for textas! While she admires the anally retentive organisational side of that parent it is simply not practical for a 5 year old to manage!

 3. Home/School balance

One big thing that people often don’t think about is to mention to your teacher is there is any changes in your homelife. These changes can affect your little ones more than you realise and having your teacher aware means that can help your little bambino adjust to any changes while at school.

Also if your little one is struggling to complete homework then make a time to discuss this with your teacher. If you don’t let them know they won’t know there is a problem! There is no point waiting until the end of term and then bitching about it!classroom

 4. Make a decent time to have a chat

If you have a concern/issue or just want to chat, have a talk to your teacher ASAP. Having said that, at 9.06am while the teacher is trying to wrangle 18 energy balls into a class room is not an ideal time to bring up your problems. Miss Mac says teachers are always happy to have a discussion with you, it is just important to schedule a time so both of you can participate fully without interruptions.

 5. Competition is for wankers

There is no point comparing your kid’s abilities to that of Jack’s or Jill’s. Just be patient. Not all children are good at the same things at the same times. What Jack is good at Jill might not be. At the end of the day all children need support and competition is unnecessary. On the flip-side Yes, be proud of your little one but don’t be a douche bag show-off if your minion happens to be better at one area than someone else. Keep it real.

6. Have realistic expectations

Don’t expect your kindergartener will learn algebra and have formed an opinion on the current situation in North Chechnya by the end of term one. Your teacher is more than happy to let you know what curriculum they will use and what expectations you can have for your little birdy throughout the year. In extension of that, if your little one has a deep interest in something such as the human body, mention this to your teacher and they might use that as an inspiration for a lesson.

Image: shutterstock

Image: shutterstock

7. Home help

The more time you put in, the easier you make a teacher’s job. If you read to your child often before school then they are more likely to have already formed a good attention span and have a legitimate interest in reading. Every moment of time you give your child will be rewarded tenfold.

8. Be involved

Schools recognise that some parents work a shitload and probably unable to be involved in everything. If you are unable to run the canteen weekly or participate heavily in the P&F you can still be involved. Fundraising is always necessary and so are an extra couple of hands at fete time. The fete is likely to happen only once a year, so be organised and donate some supplies. Or volunteer at one school disco. Any sort of contribution makes a difference. Plus this is a great way to build a friendship with other parents in the school. You never know when it may come in handy to have a friend near by!

9. Buy some love

At the end of the year, you have survived. Your kid has survived. The teacher has survived. Here is a great list of gifts to say thanks to your kid’s teacher:

  • Personalised stamps
  • Personalised pens
  • Stickers
  • Personalised mugs
  • Movie vouchers
  • Chocolates (but keep in mind they get A tonne of chocolates!)
  • Stationary
  • Stuff to use in classroom.

Image: volunteerspot.com

Miss Mac says, meaningful gifts don’t have to be expensive, just a card that shows the parent’s appreciation for all you have done is lovely. It is always nice to know you are valued!

Happy school days Nesters x



{The Nest Home} Read your way to escape

One of my very favourite places when the weather warms up is in my very own backyard.

We are lucky to have a wonderful outdoor space that allows the sun to stream down on my legs (yes, mum I wear sunscreen) while I drink my cup of tea and listen to my children play.

It is my favourite time because I often escape out there with a magazine or a book. Sometimes a new one, or sometimes I just take one of my classic favourites and am immediately transported to my happy place.

I am always on the search for a great new book (if you have/know/love/recommend/hate a book please let me know!)


I have stumbled across this reading list from Lauren Conrad that looks like it has some pearlers on it.

What do you think? Can you recommend something else?

{Raising Little People} 10 things no one tells you about having a daughter..

Having little girls in your life isn’t all about tutus and shotguns for future boyfriends (despite what the masses may tell you)

There are some things that no one really tells you, some things that you cannot really be prepared for and until you have one very special little lady in your life you will not really understand what we are talking about.

The clever and witty Bret Spears has put into words the things that No one ever tells you about having a daughter. It is funny and smart and a really brilliant read.

bret spears

Happy reading Nesters!

{Raising Little People} 20 brilliant books for little birdies

There is nothing more perfect than little minds listening intently to a grown-up voice reading stories of adventure, fun and fantasy.

book to read

It is a memory that I hold close to my heart. I remember my parents reading to me and I know my little birdies will have the same memory when they are grown.

Essential Baby have put together a brilliant list of the top 20 children’s books that all little birdies should read.

Happy reading Nesters!