Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happiness inspires Happiness: Getting my mojo back through exercise and healthy eating

I have often said that being a mother is literally the hardest job in the entire world, and though it is also the most rewarding one, it often strips us mums of our identity and our mojo for life.

The hardest thing is often to admit this and to find the time and the energy to rectify the situation. At the start of 2011 I decided that enough was enough and to be a better Mum, a better wife, a better friend and a better person I had to be a bit selfish and take the time to focus on myself and get my mojo back.

The main area's I wanted to focus on were weight loss and increased fitness. Initially I joined weight watchers as I had had success with that program previously. I really think this is only effective though if you attend the meetings - have to stand in front of someone every week and be accountable not just to yourself is the key. Another thing that I did which I know is often available, is I became a MTM or Meeting Team Member, this means I was the person weighing everyone in, and it also meant that I got my membership for free, so this was a great way to stay on track and save some money (and earn a little bit too).

I also heard about the 12 Week Body Transformation through some friends and thought it sounded like a great program (with Michelle Bridges at the helm, how could you go wrong?), and this really kicked in the exercise component for me. While on my journey I tried lots of different forms of exercise, because for me it needs to be something that I enjoy otherwise it becomes a chore and then I usually loose motivation to continue. For me I love Zumba and I love group fitness classes at the gym and now that I have learnt to run I also love running. I also have a very love/hate relationship with Bikram Yoga!
But by having the variety of fitness it has kept everything interesting for me.

By changing my eating and learning to love keeping fit I have turned my life around and now I do feel like I am a more effective Mum/Wife/Friend and person and my mojo for life is back. I am confident, I am happier, I enjoy dressing up again now and going clothes shopping, I have more energy for my kids and have a much happier social life.

But one of the most satisfying benefits from taking this journey for myself is that I have inspired others to also make this a priority in their lives. People that I didn't even know where watching have randomly told me that they are changing their lives because they have seen what I have done in mine. This to me is the biggest compliment and has really made my journey worthwhile.

This post was sponsored by Kids Business as part of their Happiness Inspires Happiness series. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How cool are the Octonauts?

If your kids are anything like my kids then they probably love the octonauts, and now there is a cool new Octonauts magazine that is available in store from tomorrow. It will coast $5.95 and it comes with stickers and a blow up fun ball. We received our copy in the mail today and the kids are already "robustly discussing" who gets to read it first!

If you would like to win a copy leave a comment below and I will pick a winner on friday 9 November at 5:00pm.

Conditions of entry:
Must be able to be posted to an Australian Address.
My own copy and the copy being given away was gifted to me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Seriously, November already?? I can't quite believe how quickly the year has flown by this year, although as I am typing that statement I feel like I have been saying it a lot the past few years. I was just this morning thinking about the fact that I have a 7 year old now and wondered how did that happen? I mean when did I even get old enough to have a child (or 4) or a husband or to have left home? When did I get mature enough that I sit here while my son is in exile and has been forbidden from attending a school friends party tomorrow (I may still cave...) for ongoing unacceptable behaviour. The responsibilities, the rules, the routines, the costs, the expectations sometimes it is all just too much and I wonder when did it happen that I am not still 19 and carefree?

....Anyway, life goes on doesn't it and you find a way to make it work.

So, back to November, it has been a pretty cool year really. Being home is brissy is awesome, I love the community that we have around us and the friends that we get to hang out with. Now if only my parents would put their house on the market and move closer it would be pretty much perfect (it is on the cards, just I want it to have happened yesterday).

The two bigger kids have started Little Athletics which is cool, although I find it so hard to watch them plod along when I know that if they just pushed themselves a little more they would excel. I am hoping this will happen in time, I did Little A's when I was a kid and I loved it so I am hopeful they will have the same experience.

I have a couple of trips to Sydney coming up in the next few weeks so I am looking forward to some me time, one is for a bloggers brunch just for the day and then the other is a girls weekend and the finale party of the latest 12 week body transformation round. There is going to be a visit to Zumbo the same weekend, which is probably counter-productive to the whole 12wbt thing, but nevertheless it's happening!

Anyway, better get back to the day at hand before it turns into December :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Abigail, a little girls best friend and a giveaway

Abigail and the Balance Beams Interactive Story and Bunny

I was given the opportunity to review a new product from Hallmark.
Abigail is an interactive bunny that responds to you when you read to her from the special book that she comes with (Abigail and the Balance Beams). 
The kids were all impressed with Abigail and though that she was most exciting. I found Abigail to be very suitable for us because Stella could read it to the other children and loved that Abigail would "respond" to her at certain places throughout the story. Being six she was quite quick to realise that if she repeated the "trigger" sentences then Abigail would talk to her a lot. We now have a roster of who gets to sleep with Abigail on what night, so I think that is what you would call a success in our household.
 Abigail also has other story books that you can purchase and there is also a free App for iphone/ipad with games and more interaction with the Abigail character.

Do you think your kids would enjoy Abigail too? 

Well you have the chance to win your very own Abigail by answering the question, "What is your child's favourite book?"
Competition is open to Australian residents and closes at 7pm this Sunday 22 July 2012.

I was not paid for this post but was gifted Abigail and the Balance Beams Interactive Bunny and Story, And offered one for a giveaway, my opinions are my own.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hakuna Matata! Lion King 2 & 3 at Australia Zoo

A few weeks ago we were very lucky to be invited along to Australia Zoo to celebrate the release of Lion King 2 & 3 on Blu Ray and DVD. (Thanks Disney Australia
It was a fabulous day and having VIP status we truly were looked after like celebrities. 

It was an early start but the skies were blue and the sun was shining and the kids were in great spirits - the day started with lots of introductions and catch up with all the other lovely bloggers and their families, then the kids got their faces painted and we were off to the crocoseum for our own private screening of Lion King 2.
I was worried that the kids would not sit still for the whole movie, but they were mesmerised by the big screen and made it through to the end. 

Next up we were invited by Terri Irwin to sit in the VIP area for the Wildlife Warriors Show and being school holidays we were lucky enough to have Terri, Bindi, Bob and Wes hosting the show, what a treat! Having Terri personally welcome us to the show was a really nice touch too and the show was very entertaining. 

Being in the VIP box you also get to see some of the animals close up - hello rather large snake!

Once the show ended it was time to put some food in our bellies and we were treated to a beautiful buffet lunch and we all got some lovely gifts in our show bags. 

After lunch it was on to our private Elephant feeding where we got to go out the back of the elephant exhibition and had the luxury of the 3 elephants all to ourselves and as much food as we could feed them. One thing I never expected was for the end of an elephants truck to be so slimy and word of warning - don't let an elephant sneeze near you, I can attest that you may just get covered from head to toe in elephant snot YUK!!!

After this once in a lifetime experience it was off to wander and explore the rest of the zoo at our leisure and after a quick look at the new Africa exhibition we called it a day and took our super-buzzed zoo expedition-ors home, and one of the best bits was when they were all asleep before we had even left the carpark - who doesn't love a blissful hour drive back home in silence? not me!!
But anyway, enough about our great day, when was the last time you saw Lion King 2 or 3? A while ago? Well they are still as good as ever and since our day at Australia Zoo these movies have been in high rotation on our DVD player and I find myself singing the songs regularly! (circle of life anyone?) As well as that the books are now favourites for bedtime stories - (just wish they were the abridged versions, because by the end of the night and book with more than 10 words per page is just hard work!!) Here is a bit of a refresher if it has been a while. Out now and available in both Blu-Ray and DVD.

Lion King 2
          Lion King 3

I have to say a big thank you to Disney Australia, Australia Zoo and our lovely hosts Tara, Sophie and Michelle. We had a fabulous day and we really appreciated all the effort that went in to making this a great day out for my little family. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Product talk - Dove Nutri Oil Serum

Product talk by Nuffnang - this is not a paid sponsored post, I have simply received the item in exchange for a review.

Having had thick curly hair all my life, the amount of money I have spent on hair products over the years must run into the thousands and given that I now have 4 kids with the same thick hair I am sure it is only going to get worse! The current product of choice is a moroccan oil creme that sets me back nearly $45.00 a pop. So when the opportunity came up to try out this little baby which retails for less than $10!!! I thought what have I got to loose. 

So what are the facts on this one?
It claims to transform dry, rough, and frizzy hair into beautifully smooth hair thats easier to manage and style and to revitalise shine without weighing it down. These are both pretty impressive things for me and are features that I also look for in a product for my hair. 

And then when I read the following features I thought it must be too good to be true!

  • Formulated with Coconut and Sweet Almond Oil 
  • As effective as Moroccan Oil, but a fraction of the price
  • Reduces roughness and frizz by 99%
  • Weightless formula that does not leave an oily residue
  • Dove Nutri Oil is part of a three step system, including Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo and Conditioner
  • RRP $9.99
So, what did I think?? 

All in all, impressive. It was easy to use, not too sticky on the fingers when applying, it had a nice fragrance, and I only needed a very small amount so the bottle would last for a long time. But best of all my hair responded well to the serum and it did contain the frizzies and my hair did feel soft and smooth. For less then 10 bucks and available in the supermarket I think this product is well worth a try.

So, would you like to take me up on the offer? Because the nice folks at Dove have given me a few bottles to give to you, so all you have to do is leave a comment either here or on my facebook page and I will choose 2 winners on sunday night 13 May 2012 at 9pm.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Anzac Day and tinyme

How has your ANZAC day been? Ours has been fun. This year was the first year that Stella and Oscar have marched in the parade and it was great to see them so excited about something that means so much to so many Australian and New Zealanders. I love our little community here in Sandgate and there is a real feeling of unity and togetherness and that comes through especially on days like these. I myself would like to find out more about my own Grandparents involvements in the War and then passing that history on to my children.

A couple of other fun Anzac day themed things as well - have you heard of tinyme? Possibly not seen as though up until now they have been known as Mooo. You know that really cool online company where you can get your kids names printed on just about anything? Well they are changing their name and if you go and like them on facebook then you are increasing the amount of discount they will be offering you on 1st May when tinyme goes live. They also have on offer some really cool ANZAC day printables that you can download here. I know I have nearly missed the boat on this one, but I still think they are worth giving a go. We have made some poppies today and they were super easy and very effective.

At a blogging conference that I went to recently (DPCON12 - post coming soon!) Mooo had this cool journal cover in our goodie bag and also a voucher for a free personalised diary, and mine arrived in the mail last week, I think it is pretty cool and you have got to love something personalised! You should definitely go and see if there is something that takes your fancy!

And my last little ANZAC day tidbit, thought I would drag out something from the archives that you may want to try this Anzac day especially if you have been cooking up an Anzac biscuit storm! It is definitely not good for the diet but oh so good!! Thankfully not an Anzac biscuit in sight in our house so nothing to worry about here, but I would love to know if you give it a try :)

(Please note, due to blogger giving me lots of head aches and iphoto not playing nice either, this post is way out of date! But I decided to post it anyway because I couldn't be bothered deleting it - so obviously mooo is now tinyme and the discount it worth 15% so go and buy something! )