Thursday, July 31, 2014

Let's Take A Moment...

Next week I'll be talking about the first step in Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover but before then I wanted to explain why I'm sharing this with all of you.

For one it's my blog so I can write what I like and at the the moment I happen to like, a lot, this get out of debt plan.
Apart from that I'm very passionate about being money savvy if not for you then for your children. I got sick of not being able to do what we wanted because of the debt we had. That's not to say we haven't done a lot, you all know about our recent vacation, but if we stick to the monthly repayments that vacation will take us seven years to pay off meaning that for the next seven years we will not be able to afford to do much of anything. Stay tuned though because soon you'll hear how much time we will be taking off that loan contract using this plan.
It's important to me to teach my children the money lessons I wish I had been taught so they grow up understanding how it works and how it can work for them instead of holding them back.

I wanted to put in to words what may be hiding from some of you. It is often so hard to see past the bills that you just accept that having debt is a way of life and that it is completely normal.

In a way you are right debt is so normal it's scary!

It doesn't have to be.

Honestly what does it hurt if your car is ten years old instead of ten days off the ship?
Are you really going to shrivel up and die a horrible death if you don't get the newest iPhone as soon as it hits the stores?

Are you seeing what I'm saying? The only person that matters is YOU! Do not let peer pressure, societal pressure or parent guilt dig you into an even bigger hole of debt. You're friends won't help you out of it, society will just offer to help dig you in even further and your children won't thank you if you end up leaving all your debt to them when you pass on.

Think about how much you pay each month to other people. Rent/morgatge, insurances, groceries and utilities not included. Add up all your credit card bills, phone contracts, loan repayments and look at that number.

How much of your hard earned money are you giving to other people??

Now think about what you could do with that amount of money each month if you had no debt.

A fully funded retirement package so you can take that motorcycle trip around the USA with The Husband instead of living week to week on a pension.

Paying off a family home in under twenty five years so you have some security to leave your children.

Saving for a college fund/house deposit/car for your children for when they graduate high school.

Actual savings, cold hard cash, in the bank ALL THE TIME!!

I don't know about you but I'm smiling at the possibilities.

If you're smiling along with me then you get it, you understand that debt is dumb.

This plan works for everyone some may get through it quicker than others depending on circumstances but everyone who is willing, who wants to do it, can! There should be no excuses if there are then you're not committed.

Debt may be normal but being normal is boring so let's be weird and different together.


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Monday, July 28, 2014

Stop Acting Like A Four Year Old!

A lot of us look at our debt and say "we had no choice, we had to get the credit card/loan to pay this unexpected bill". Some of the time this statement is true but I guarantee every single purchase you have made with your credit cards was not an unexpected bill or emergency. The majority of the time we get ourselves further into debt by acting like spoilt children. We see something that we want and we want it NOW! We don't want to wait however long it will take to save the cash needed to pay for it. Why on earth would we do something silly like that when we can use the credit card the bank gave us and have it now but not only that we can have it now while only paying a little bit for it each month?

Another awesome teaching from Mr Ramsey which is disregarded by so many is this:

You are not entitled to anything until you save and pay for it.

Or worded differently but meaning exactly the same thing...

If you can't afford the price tag in cash then you simply can't afford it.

I'm no saint! I have had my share of four year old tantrums where I've metaphorically thrown myself on the ground demanding I have that shiny new toy right this instant. The Husbands had his fair share of those tantrums too.
Our recent vacation is one such example. We went to the UK to visit family. With a sick mother in law we were ok with getting more debt for ourselves, to us it was an emergency. However I put my foot down and threw my tantrum and said if we are going all that way then we are going to Disneyland Paris too!
I don't really need to tell you how much money we would have saved, or how much less we would have to pay back, if I had already had my Dave Ramsey kick up the butt and said no to un necessary spending.

Starting your debt killing spree, which is very much what we all want to do to our debt right?, is about putting those tantrums behind us. It's time to grow up and be more mature with the way we handle our money.

You don't need that new HD 3D flat screen television. You will be able to watch the same program's on your current tv without adding to the amount of money you owe other people.

Your children don't need a dozen gifts each from you or Santa. I know this is a hard one for a lot of parents but instead of thinking 'I don't want them to miss out' or 'I just want to give them the best' or any other excuse you pull out of your cap to justify spending hundreds of dollars on items that will hold their interest for only a few short months start thinking about how much you will be able to do for them once you are debt free.
Starting a college fund, paying off a family home so they have that security. If mum and dad are debt free your children will grow up seeing it as the way to go. Do you really want your children to live their lives from one credit card payment to the next?
Kids learn so much from their environment. What they see as the norm for mum and dad will be what they grow up to expect for themselves.

Starting now if you don't have the cash then you WAIT until you do. Save every week as much as your budget allows and then when you've got it all saved up taking home your new toy will be so much sweeter.

Research has shown that we spend 12 - 18% more when we use credit cards. Put the plastic away, withdraw the cash and keep it in your purse. You'll see how much you have and you'll know how long it has to last you. Spontaneous purchases will cease, credit card fees will stop, and pretty soon you'll see your money lasting longer and longer each week.

It's time to stop being immature with our money and grow up! I'm giving it a shot whose coming on the journey with me?

Next weeks money management post will be about step one of the total money makeover. We've gotten Gazelle Intense and stopped being immature with our money next up is working towards getting out of debt and staying there.


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Monday, July 21, 2014

Gazelle v Cheetah

Thanks to my love affair with Pinterest I have been introduced to an American money guru by the name of Dave Ramsey. He teaches people how to get out of debt, how to manage their money, how to invest for a happy retirement and my favourite how to stay out of debt. The best bit is that most of what he says is plain common sense so following his teachings is super easy.
I have a few posts lined up for the next few weeks based on what I've learnt from his book 'The Total Money Makeover' and I'm really excited about sharing this information with you all.

I think the first piece of information I'm going to share that I have learnt from Dave Ramsey is what he calls 'Gazelle Intensity'.

In the book 'The Total Money Makeover' he refers to gazelles being stalked by a cheetah and how only one in nineteen chases will result in the cheetah having Gazelle for lunch. Stay with me here because I'm getting to the good bit.
The Gazelle gets away from the fastest animal on land by out manoeuvring him. The Gazelle knows that if he can run this way and that way for as long as possible the Cheetah will soon grow tired. The Gazelle is focused on staying alive by any means necessary.
This is what you need to do with your money, with your debt. Being Gazelle intense means being committed to getting debt free, wholeheartedly.

You can't just say "yes I don't want to have any more debt", or "no I don't want to be paying these credit cards off till I'm 50" you need to be completely committed to doing something about it.

If you commit yourself to getting out of debt it will happen so much sooner than you ever believed possible.

There is no half way option, it will only set you back. If you are not Gazelle Intense going into your debt killing spree you will remain the victim instead of turning the tables.

Gazelle intensity means realising that a ten year old car that does the job but has no payments is far better for your financial future than going out to get the shiny new car that will look good come school pick up time but has monthly payments with interest and adds an un necessary $40 000 to your debt limit.

Gazelle intense means quitting fast food not because you're on some new health kick but because fast food stopped being the cheaper option many moons ago.

Gazelle intense means buying home brand, no name brand, black and gold brand or whichever brand is the cheapest because you know it all tastes the same and that the extra $2 you save on each jar of sauce, or the $3 you save by buying home brand bread instead of name brand bread brings you $5 closer to paying off of your debt...And every dollar counts.

Gazelle intense means getting a second job or heading out to night shift once your husband gets home because you know being a little more tired, working a little harder for a short period of time will get you debt free even faster.

Mr Ramseys total money makeover motto is:

If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

Which means stop caring about appearances and start caring about your future. When you are debt free all that money you are paying out right now becomes yours to do with as you please!

We have one car, it's ten years old and has a few scratches but it's all ours we owe nothing on it, we rent, we buy home brand bread and Coles yoghurt, we shop for kids clothes - and ours - at Kmart or op shops, we have basic meals on rotation, we find activities to do as a family that are free - beach trips, playing ball at the park, video games, movie nights at home - and most importantly we don't care what any one thinks about any of that.
My friends call me cheap, one of them actually to my face, and say it with such disgust like it's somehow effecting them but I just laugh to myself because I've done the math and in three years time we'll be completely debt free and I can guarantee you they won't be.

They are not Gazelle intense in fact some of them are quite content in their debt ridden worlds and that's ok it's their choice and I don't love them any less for it. Being Gazelle intense and getting out of debt, completely, is our choice and we'll do what we have to to make it happen. The snide comments about having no life, or not doing anything fun just roll off our backs. We are happy, we are having fun, but we have also less than halved the term of our loan contract by being Gazelle intense!

Lastly Gazelle intensity has to come from everyone involved. If you are married or in this debt with a partner of any kind you BOTH need to be focused and committed. Money issues are one of the biggest causes leading to divorce and relationship breakdowns. Get on the same page with your money and everything else will seem a lot easier.

I have so much to share with you so prepare yourselves now. If you do not wish to hear about finances, budgeting and all that goes with it then I'd stay away for a little while. I'm a woman on a mission to help everyone who is like me and sick and tired of debt.

If you have any questions about getting Gazelle Intense please ask, if I can't help I'll find someone who can :)


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

All Good Things...

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day thirty

Your hopes for your blog.

I don't have any huge ambitions when it comes to my blog. I started it because I hated the rental life and wanted to let others know they weren't alone in the renting world.

I wanted to share ideas on how to make a rental house your home.

I wanted to share suggestions on family friendly and budget friendly entertainment or activities.

I wanted to rant about three monthly house inspections.

I wanted to share strategies on saving and budgeting.

I just wanted to write.

If somewhere in there I managed to pass along some useful information or I inspired even one person then I'm happy with that.

If my posts about finances and budgeting help just one family I'm happy with that.

If my ramblings make just one person smile then I'm happy with that too.

I'll very likely be posting a lot more about finances thanks to my new love of Dave Ramsey and his get out of debt strategies.

I'll be doing less DIY projects because we are still hoping to make a big move to the UK once we have our finances working for us; as opposed to against us.

I may start posting my favourite recipes mainly because I'm a Pinterest addict and there are some yummy recipes in the Pinterest world.

My blog is for me. It has no rules. I am grateful to every single person who comes by to read and I hope that you walk away with a smile or an idea.

Print available at nelladesigns on


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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner?

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty nine

Ten people, dead or alive, I would invite to dinner.

As I discussed this topic with The Husband he mentioned that we would both automatically be at each other's dinner so there was no need for me to have him as one of my ten invited guests. This was comforting as I couldn't imagine facing a room full of the people I admire the most without him.
It was truly hard to write thus guest list. There are so many people, dead and alive, that I would love the honour of sitting down to a meal with so narrowing it down to ten was excruciating.

Here's who made the final cut...

Guest one Jane Austen. I adore her writing, her attention to detail, and her passion to forgo the societal norms of her time. A conversation with this lady would be educational and entertaining.

Guest two Bill Clinton. I would not ask if he truly didn't inhale nor would I care to ask about Monica. I admire this mans drive and passion and would love to engage him in a conversation about anything and everything.

Guest three Bobby Moore. This man makes the list because I'm an awesome wife! He and The Husband would sit at one end of the table discussing football till the sun came up.

Guest four Walt Disney. To those who know me this should be no surprise as it shouldn't be also to anyone who has followed my blogging challenge. The conversation would be magical and I would be crossing my fingers hoping some of his creativity rubbed off on me.

Guest five Julie Andrews. I would beg her to sing the night away with me.

Guest six Theodor Seuss Geisel AKA Dr Seuss. Do I really need to explain this. The mans imagination was supreme and his writing superb. There is a reason his book 'oh the places you'll go' is given as a graduation gift at high schools, it speaks to adults not just children.

Guest seven Rosa Parks. Strength and passion to fight for what is important to not only you but everyone. I would love to share a meal with this lady.

Guest eight Socrates. An evening spent questioning everything...that's usually how most our evenings go around here and besides I can just picture him and Dr Seuss in conversation.

Guest nine Queen Elizabeth. I'm a traditionalist and a Monarchist. I've always had a love affair with the British Royal family and it was tough to choose between Elizabeth the First, Victoria, and Elizabeth the Second. In the end I chose our current Queen as I think she would empathise being a traditionalist in a very modern world.

Guest ten Oprah Winfrey. She has met so many people and seen so many places not to mention been through so much that I'd love to sit and listen to her tell a story or two.

Writing this list was entertaining and educational. As I wrote my list The Husband offered up name after name of people he would have on his list. I think I'd enjoy his dinner as much as my own. Sir Winston Churchill, Genghis Kahn, and Marilyn Monroe to name just a few.

I highly recommend this activity for couples. Its fun and while laughing together you may just learn something new about your significant other.

Give it a go and share with us who would get an invitation from you.


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Monday, July 14, 2014


30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty eight

A confession

I never used to like snow globes. In fact the only snow globes I could ever appreciate were ones that were Disney related.
After my daughter was born she was given two. One from my Dad and one from my favourite Aunt. The following Christmas my Dad gave me a Christmas themed snow globe.

At this point I still didn't really like them but they were growing on me. Over the years we received around five tiny Disney related snow globes and somewhere in there I fell in love with every single one that we owned.

Now here comes the confession....

Each and every one of them - bar two mini Disney globes - is broken. They are no longer snow globes. I'm sorry Dad, Aunty Di, Giz, and weird psycho pen pal I no longer write to.

I have children therefore I cannot own pretty things :(

Each one of these snow globes has met a violent end, shattering into a thousand pieces as sparkly water flew through the air and splashed into the carpet, never again to fulfil its intended duty.

If anyone knows of a company that does snow globe repairs I'd be very grateful if you passed along the details.


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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sibling Rivalry

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty seven

Talk about your siblings

I have one sister. I won't sugar coat it, for as long as I can remember we've had a tumultuous relationship.

She's six years older than I am and I think it's been our down fall. We've always been at different places in our lives. Really what twelve year old wants to play with a six year old or what eighteen year old wants their twelve year old sister tagging along everywhere?

It probably explains why now that we are both adults and mums that we are closer than we've ever been. We're finally at the same stage, doing the same stuff, experiencing the same things. We understand each other more than we ever have.

We still remain two very different people but I'm now old enough to accept that's just how we are, she's my sister not my best friend. We don't need to share the same interests, though funny enough now that we live thousands of miles away from each other we actually do share some of the same interests, we don't need to like the same things in order to love each other.

I love her because she is my sister, my older sister, and I wouldn't have her any other way.


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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Talent on vacation

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty six

Your hidden talent

I have no idea what my hidden talent is. Recently I've come to realise I'm a jack of many trades but a master of none.

I can sort of play the violin, I can just whistle, I'm not all that good at clicking. I can cook enough to keep the family from going hungry, I know enough about sewing to keep us all in shorts and skirts. I've meddled with jewellery making, dream catchers and custom crayons and I know enough about oils to mix up a nice smelling perfume... That will last an hour.

I can't dance, squirt milk through my eye lids or draw anything but stick figures. I don't run, I can sing but I'd never win a Grammy and thus far I've never had a chance to test my snowman building skills.

I've tried cake making, jam making and growing vegetables.

Maybe my hidden talent is my never ending curiosity and need to try new things??

Although I've never tried burping the alphabet so maybe that's my hidden talent.


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Friday, July 11, 2014

No Regrets

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty five

Your biggest regret

Since meeting The Husband I have become a firm believer of the saying "I can't regret the past as it's got me to where I am today".
Sure I could name a dozen things right now that I could bring myself to regret but even changing just one of them may mean that I never met my other half, never had my children and despite the hard times we have faced and no doubt will face I cannot imagine my life any other way.

So I don't regret the fact that I have been married once before, I don't like to think about it - makes me shiver and cringe - but I don't regret it. It helped me grow as a person, helped me understand myself better.

I don't regret not studying harder at school. Sure I have days where I feel down right stupid but well I can use the baby brain excuse for another 6 months and by then I'll be studying again and besides sometimes it's better to not know so much.

I don't regret not saving more money. If my financial situation had been any different I may have made different choices that would have led me away from my current life. We're working on the financial situation now together.

I have this tattoo on my lower back that reads 'Kismet'. It means meant to be. I may not have enjoyed every moment of my life up until now but it was all meant to be. It all helped me grow and understand myself, helped me understand others better. So I can't have regrets I prefer to call them life lessons.


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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Don't Tick Me Off

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty four

Pet peeves

I'll admit I have a fair few things that really irritate the bejeebies out of me so sit back, put your legs up and prepare to nod along in agreement or shake your head in disbelief.

I'm what on the internet these days is referred to as a 'Grammar Nazi'. I like to think of it as showing I paid attention in class. I'm far from perfect and often get mixed up on whether I am meant to use an Oxford comma when listing many items of any description or 'a' or 'an' before words beginning with the letter H. However I do know before is not found on a bingo card and u is the twenty first letter of the alphabet not a word. I believe having good grammar is not nerdy. THEY'RE welcome to make fun of me from THEIR soapbox over THERE all they like.

I am likely to go red in the face and turn into a raving lunatic if I find out my child got sick because we socialised with you and your child who you knew was sick but you didn't feel the need to say anything to me. Screw building up my child's immune system, I choose to send my daughter to school knowing she will be surrounded by children who may be sick, parents need to work I get it, which is why in our social life I prefer to have the option given to me to choose not to let her play with your sick kid and risk catching whatever it is they have.
Honestly it is not that hard. Use some common sense and courtesy and let other parents know. I am so passionate about this that it's caused disagreements between friends and family just ask my sister in law, a smart girl mostly who had a moment of stupidity, I'd also say to ask the friend except she no longer is one.
I have seen my children suffer when they didn't have to, I have seen friends children suffer when it could have been avoided. I will call people on it, and yes they will deny it till they are blue in the face despite all the evidence against them, but if I am courteous enough to inform you then show me the same courtesy back, for my children's sake.

I am beyond confounded by women who feel it is perfectly alright to belittle their husbands publicly. If you have marriage issues, if you don't like the way he does nothing around the house, if you hate the way he leaves the toilet seat up don't put it on Facebook or Twitter or your blog. Talk to your husband or a marriage counsellor and work your issues out. Talk privately to friends but don't make it your status.
The majority of the time the people reading do not personally know your husband so the only picture they can paint of the type of man he is come from the words you choose to say about him and just so you understand that imagine if your husband was constantly putting you down in his Facebook status? Most woman would be pretty darn ticked off!

While on the subject of social media I have said before that I love Facebook. I have friends all over the globe who thanks to Facebook, Twitter and the likes I feel like that gap isn't an ocean wide however it is sometimes painful scrolling through all the drama queen status updates. I'm quite happy to see what you cooked for lunch or hear about your latest gym work out but if you could not press the post button on the attention seeking, open to interpretation status that is designed to have people say "hope everything is ok, I'm here if you need me" that would be great. If you need to talk, need a virtual hug then just come right out and say that your friends will no doubt message you offering just that there is no need for cryptic updates.

I'll finish with lazy people. I know it's all a matter of opinion so to specify it's those who are quite willing to complain about their lot in life but are not willing to do the hard work to change things.

I love hearing about others pet peeves if you care to share your own.


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You Have To Be In It To Win It

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty three

If you won the lottery

A few months back when there was that huge lotto night with an incredible 70 million up for grabs The Husband tried to convince me that there was no way anyone could spend that much money. We playfully argued over it for a few days until he explained that what he meant was that interest on investments would mean you would never run out of money. Until he explained himself I was detailing with great enthusiasm all of the pretty little - and some not so little - things I'd buy if I had 70 million dollars.

There was the usual house, but I didn't stop at one. I'd have one or two here in Oz, a couple in the UK, a few in America and maybe even one in France with a safari park somewhere in Africa.

I'm not big on cars so apart from buying one in each country we had a house I didn't go into detail and make each one a Ferrari.

There was the round the world trip to see everything I've always longed to see, which included bringing along a babysitter so The Husband and I could have a romantic dinner every now and then.

A cruise to Antarctica as well as all the thermal underwear in the world to make sure I don't freeze.

You can see the picture I'm painting right? All of my hearts desires plus a few silly 'just because I can' options.

In reality each time we buy a lotto ticket all we ask for is enough to pay off our debts, if there was a little extra to make up a house deposit then we wouldn't argue but $50 000 would do us nicely.

What would make it in your dream list and your realistic list?

I have to say This Will Ferrel Parody on twitter has a brilliant idea....


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Break the Habit

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty two

Your worst habits.

Hmmm this is actually harder than I thought it would be.

I'd probably have to start with my complete inability to not eat chocolate. I've tried to stop and once I actually went cold turkey and lasted 3 months, there was some miracle at work there. I try to cut down but well that doesn't work for long. It's quite frustrating really I managed to cut out soda from my diet, I can cut down sugar from all other areas of my diet too but the cocoa gods must have put a spell on me because I just can't stop.

Let's see what else? Oh I'm hopeless at following through with pack away time with my kids. All other discipline I stick to but when it comes to packing away toys I'll more often than not just do it myself. It's faster, there's less tantrums and well it gets done properly. Terrible I know.

Without fail once a week I'll vacuum the lounge room rug, it's a shag rug so takes forever, and then with in an hour of finishing I'll give the kids food without putting down the lunch mat. I'll then spend the rest of the day ranting that the darn carpet was only just cleaned and now you can't even tell. It usually happens on a Friday, the rest of the week I remember the lunch mat.

I do not eat vegetables. It's probably my worst habit. I'll only eat corn, carrots and potatoes. Everything else I will only eat if it's been puréed into a yummy vege soup.

What are some of your bad habits?


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Monday, July 7, 2014

Grab The Tissues.

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty one

What makes you sad?

As someone who has suffered from depression and every now and then gets into deep sad funks this list could be quite long. However I'm actually very proud of myself as despite my history I am probably the most optimistic and positive person I know. These days I will dig deep to find a positive in every situation. I don't see the point in holding on to the negatives when a positive is staring you in the face. You're just asking to feel blue and down if you live like that.

Having said that though there are still things that make me sad. Take for example Friday morning. I got up bundled the kids on the couch with a blanket and the heater, got them breakfast and sat myself down - it was not yet 7 incase you're wondering how early my kids wake up - I opened Facebook and was immediately confronted with three videos that had me crying. One about a brave young mum and her beautiful little boy who was born with no eyes, another about a young boy who steals medicine for his mum, is helped by a restaurant owner then later goes on to be the doctor that saves the restaurant owners life and the last was actually an article about a family and a doctor crying in the delivery room after the birth of a baby whose brother died at birth less than a year ago in the same room.

I was a wreck and it wasn't even 7am. It happens to me all the time. Since having children I cry at everything!

Being so far away from my closest friends is probably what makes me sad most often though. They range in distance from NSW - I'm in WA - to the United Kingdom. It's not just catching up for coffee that I miss it's those days when you can see they just need a hug and you're not there to give it to them. Not being able to help my friends when they need it makes me very sad.

In a contradictory turn of events yesterday I mentioned that Christmas time makes me happy, it also makes me sad. I have longed for so many years to have a white Christmas so every Christmas I spend in 42 degree heat is seriously depressing. It's a good thing I love everything else about Christmas or it may not have made it on my happy list.

Are you the type that cries at everything too, what's on your sad list?


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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Don't Worry Be Happy!

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twenty

What makes you happy?


Alright to be more specific....

Watching The Husband play tickle monster with Miss Four and Master Two. He gets down on the ground and has them rolling hysterically till happy tears are falling from their eyes. It's a beautiful sight.

Seeing my daughter share my interests. She really is as Disney obsessed as I am.

Listening to my son sing. He only really gets one line from a song but he'll belt that line out like he's singing to a packed stadium.

Christmas time. Decorating the house, walking through decorated shopping malls while carols are played through the speakers, wrapping presents, unwrapping my presents, cooking Christmassy treats, Christmas light scavenger hunts...It all makes me happy.

The very rare occasions I get to stay in bed while The Husband gets up with the kids. That extra hour is bliss...even if I'm awake listening to the kids terrorise their dad, it's great to just lie there.

Sunny winter days and the reverse, cloudy summer days.

Going to the cinema. It doesn't happen often these days as it's hard to get a baby sitter - and there's also the fact it can get quite pricey - but I love going to the cinema. The smell of popcorn, the tacky red carpet and red curtains, listening to those around you react to the story they are watching, the previews of upcoming films, sitting till the end of the 15 minute long credits to see if there is an Easter egg at the end. It's an amazing experience.

Horse riding. I haven't done it in years but I smile every time I go riding.

That one hour during rest time where the entire house is clean. Carpets vacuumed, all washing cleaned, folded and put away, kitchen clean, toys away. It may not last long once the kids wake up but I really do love that hour, a clean house makes he very happy.

There is lots of small things that make me happy, seeing the kids run to the door when daddy gets home from work, Daddy getting home from work :), Getting through a workout I didn't want to do, those rare weeks I manage to keep the grocery bill under $250, receiving parcels, skyping friends, coco pops for dinner....

What are some of the things that make you happy?


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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action!

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day nineteen

Your favourite movie

Here we go again. As with colours, songs, foods, tv shows and much much more I cannot choose just one film that I love more than the others.

I have movies that I have seen, at the cinema, more than once. In fact in the case of Titanic I saw it seven times! Outrageous I know but somehow it happened. I went with school, my parents, friends on a weekend - I think I did this twice, then I think my sister took me and the other two times are a blur but somehow I saw that film seven times at the cinema.

Twister I saw twice.

Lord of the Rings, all three, if you count each marathon I've attended comes pretty close to joining Titanic. It might in fact pass it.

We're getting off topic though. My favourites, movies which I watch over and over through out the year, include...

Home Alone. Absolutely love this film. The location, the fact that it snows oh and it's a Christmas flick. I watch this film at least three times a year....before December. Come Christmas time it's probably around twice a week.

Beaches. I'm not sure how old I was when I first saw this film but I remember loving it immediately. The lifelong friendship between C.C and Hillary just drew me in. I loved that they changed, their friendship changed, they had their ups and downs but in the end they were still there together. I'm a big softy like that.
The soundtrack was pretty awesome too. To this day anytime I hear 'Wind beneath my wings' I tear up.

Willow. I loved this movie so much that when Santa bought me a baby doll for Christmas when I was ten years old I named it Elora. The thing about this movie is it's also what made me see that The Husband - you read about him yesterday - was my other half. I've never met another person who loves this film until him. We also gave our daughter the name Elora, it's her middle name.

Dirty Dancing. I loved this movie for a long time but it holds sentimental value to me now. I watched this at summer camp with a group of fellow counsellors, some seeing it for the first time, and since then it's brought back happy memories. The dancing is great, the soundtrack spectacular, Mr Swayze is mighty fine too and with lines like "I carried a watermelon!" It shouldn't be missed.

Other films I watch repeatedly include:

The Harry Potter Collection
Robin Hood Prince of thieves - mainly thanks to The Husbands love of it.
Mulan - my daughters as Disney obsessed as I am, it's great!
Pirates of the Caribbean
Behind enemy lines
Under siege
Die Hard 1, 2 and 3 - 4 is ok too and the most recent was alright.
Stigmata - I haven't watched it in a while but I went through a phase where I hired it every weekend to watch.

Ok so this list could go on for a while. What I've listed should give you a little bit more of an insight into who I am.


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Friday, July 4, 2014

Not Another Selfie

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day eighteen

A photo of yourself.

I spent all of yesterday going through photographs trying to decide which one to share with you.

If you read my home made face mask post then you've already seen me so I wasn't worried about finding the perfect photo of myself to introduce you all to me.

I was thinking things like:

"Do I pick one of me as a child?"

"Do I pick one from before I had kids when I thought I was huge but now realise I had an awesome body?"

"Do I pick a 'selfie' or go for professional?"

In the end I kept coming back to one photograph. It is a professional shot but that's not why I picked it. Technically it's also pre children - I'm 28 weeks pregnant with my first in this shot not that you can see that - but again that isn't why I picked it.

I don't even really like how I look in it but I love who is in it with me and it's almost symbolic in the way that it's posed.

That is my Husband, my best friend, my other half, my soul mate. He is my strength and I cannot imagine life with out him.

He makes me laugh and he makes me cry; sometimes at the same time. He supports me in everything I want to do no matter how outlandish it sounds. He loves our children with all of his soul and he encourages their whacky personalities - they get that from him!

He's not perfect but he's imperfectly perfect for me.

Of course all you get to see here is the back of his head back when he had a Mohawk but that's not important after all it's meant to be a photograph of me. Thing is, I'm not me unless I have him!


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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blog Love

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day seventeen

Your favourite blogs

I have a fair few blogs that I read but the ones listed below are the ones I read most often.

The Militant Baker
The tag line for this amazing blog is 'What everyone is thinking but no one will say'.
Jes is a mental health professional, pastry chef and body love advocate...just to name a few. Her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram shout body love so loud that the next galaxy can hear. Speaking the truth that no matter your size be it, 2 or 22 or anything in between and outside of those numbers, that you are beautiful and worthy of love and respect.

She occasionally has views I disagree with but overall it's a great blog to follow.

I highly recommend heading over to have a read through.

Vintage with laces

This blog I visit when I want to see pretty things. I love lace and vintage inspired home decor and accessories and they are in abundance on this blog. Great craft ideas and inspiration for decorating in shabby chic style.

Dave Ramsey

This man is some what of a financial/money guru in America. The reason why I read his stuff and have ordered his book is because of all the financial gurus I've heard of Mr Ramsey has actually been at rock bottom with no money and stressing over where to get money for bills while his wife cut coupons like a crazy person so she could go grocery shopping. I have a hard time taking financial advise from people who haven't truly struggled before so knowing that this guy has actually been there and built his plans on reality makes it easy for me to follow him.

Once I'm done with my blogging challenge and have read through his book which will be delivered to me soon I plan to share what I learn with you all but for now I suggest heading to his blog and having a look around.

Made by Rae

My go to sewing blog. Amazing patterns, tutorials and helpful sewing advice. I recommend this blog for beginners to professionals, there is something for everyone.


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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Education Is The Kindling Of A Flame

30 Day Blogging challenge
Day sixteen

Your thoughts on education.

This is easy. I believe that every child that has the option of being in school should be until at least 17 years of age, preferably longer. Whether it be home school, a Montessori establishment, public school, private school, Catholic school or any other option out there. Schooling plays such a huge role in making us who we are as adults, in teaching us how the world works and our place in it. Our brains never stop learning but it is up to us to provide ourselves with new opportunities to continue to learn new things.

I also believe everyone learns differently and we should do as much as we can to find out what works best for us and go with it and not let our differences hold us back.

I know we can't all be nuclear physicists, and not everyone wants to be, we can't all run a ten second 100 meters and not everyone is going to win an Oscar but if we push ourselves to be the best we can, continue to learn new things long after we graduate high school and encourage younger generations to do the same then we will all be better off because of it.


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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hopes for years to come

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day fifteen

Where will you be in five years?

Oh gosh! I sincerely hope that in five years we are either living in the UK, preparing to move to the UK or at least have a firm date on which we will be leaving for the UK.
That's not too much to ask for is it?

I'm realistic and know that although we are working towards it that it may not happen when we want it to.

In five years I hope to be almost debt free un less of course we some how manage to buy a house and in that case this hope goes out the window. If however we are still renting then I'd like to be an almost debt free renter.

In five years I would like to be doing a job that I enjoy, don't ask me what as I have no clue. At this point I don't care if it's night fill at Coles just as long as I don't dread going to work.

In five years I hope to not be freaking out because my daughter will be 9 years old, which is almost ten years old which is so close to her being a teenager. Uh I think I'm having heart palpitations already...

What is your five yearly goal?


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