Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday Series; hard times & weak faith.

To trust God in the light is nothing, to trust Him in the dark - that is faith. C.H. Spurgeon. 

Stress, hard times & sadness happen to every single one of us. No one is immune from the trials of life.
We all encounter health problems, grief, broken relationships & stress. 
(Thought I do feel like I may have had my life times worth of trials crammed into the last year & a half!)
Over the past year & about a half I've struggled. A lot. Life hasn't been super easy for me/us, it feels like one thing after another. I won't get into specifics but there was so much going on & it continually kept chipping away at my heart & also my faith. There was grief, I got sick, there was hurt, hurt & more hurt and incredible amount of stress & then even more hurt! 
Thankfully this year has been a little more pleasant - but to say it's been stress & hurt free would be a lie. 
Some of the things I've struggled with have tested my faith greatly. Not that I lost belief in there being a God - but more so just slightly confused at what I was meant to do at certain points, why things were happening to us & why people I loved so dearly hurt me so badly.
But I trust Him. 
Ultimately He knows how my life will play out as it's already planned - I just have to trust in what happens & where He guides us.
My faith became a little weak a while back, not because I didn't love God but because pain weakens us. It can be paralysing - life got so hard & hurtful at times I no longer knew what to do. 
So I stopped doing most things - including reading my bible - I gave up on many things. The enemy knows that if he can weaken us so we stop growing closer to God that we will be to weak to defeat him. 
He wants to fill our heads full of lies & make us believe there is no point reading the bible because our situations are helpless. He will try and convince us that it is our own fault that life is going the way it is and that we don't deserve God's love. 
But friends I encourage you to remember that during hard times our strength comes from God - during times that are challenging and hurtful - turn to Him. Satan is determined to weaken us with his attacks to try and stop us knowing God, because then he wins. The enemy uses low tactics and works through ways that hurt us to the core. 
Now my life hasn't suddenly become 100x better just because I opened my bible again - but the bible has shown me a handful of verses that have instilled comfort, wisdom & faith back into my heart. Reassuring me that He is there & that He is in control and that I am taking steps in my life that are right for us & that are right by Him.
Something recently that has hurt me is a "smear campaign" going against me. I've lost some family, friends & even blog readers. Now I am not going to defend myself - I refuse to. If someone is so quick to believe down right lies & pure nastiness about me - well then so be it, those people clearly don't know the real me & I am better off without them. So with my character & reputation under attack I had 2 choices - fight back or just give it to God. Now to be honest I did want to defend myself, I was pretty darn mad but I went with the later option - I have dealt with so much in the past year & a bit, that this just was one more hurtful thing to add to the list & I didn't want it - so I handed it straight to Him. I instantly felt weight lifted from my heart - it still hurts when I hear what is being said or realise someone else has turned against me - but I know I'll be ok & the strain on me isn't unbearable - I can almost shrug it off now. I know in my heart what is going on is not a reflection of my character & heart - but instead it shows the type of people those who say the untruths are. 
I encourage you that if you are facing a similar trial of people questioning your heart and who you truly are - don't stress. God knows us & true Godly people will be shown the truth by our Lord. Eventually the person doing evil against you will be exposed. Stand strong with those who know & love the true you. 
Don't listen to the doubt that Satan tries to force into your mind, you are not what they say, continue to pray, open your bible and focus of Him. Don't let your faith waiver because when it does, that is when the enemy will strike.
Be open to looking beyond your hard circumstance and receiving the peace that Jesus offers us each day. Look for the small blessings & seek the joy everyday. When I am feeling so overwhelmed & hurt or really angry I just pray that those feelings be taken away - it is natural to feel those emotions - but we don't have to dwell on them or carry them alone.
I am now at a place in my life where I feel I am (we are) being guided to make life change - a pretty big one - so we've taken some steps to see if it is God's will. If it is, it'll work out - if it doesn't - that is fine. I feel at peace - yes I still am experiencing hurt, yes I am still sick but I feel more strength & reassurance Everyone deals with hurt & stress in life - this is just my trial for this season.
I pray everyday for wisdom - wisdom to know what to do with the hurt, pain & frustration, more wisdom for motherhood & being a wife & wisdom with understanding God's word. 
His wisdom has shown me that we go through things for a reason. He puts us in trials to grow & shape us. We become stronger, wiser & our faith strengthens. Every hard time in our life just is another chance for us to grow - as a person & grow closer to God. And at the end of the day, as hard as this all seems & as much as it all hurts, I remain thankful for this life.

Each day I strive to look for the joy and just move on from the hurt & stress. 
Friends, this post was written because I feel God put it on my heart, I pray this post spoke to you today & perhaps has encouraged you. 
Have a wonderful Sunday.
Snap Chat; Bindy_30

God will bless you, if you don't give up when your faith is being tested. James 1:12

Friday, 10 March 2017

A lovely Friday.

Oniochalasia (n.) buying or shopping as a method of stress relief or relaxation. 
I don't often do "day in the life" type of posts! But I've had a really nice day and I thought recapping it maybe fun! (I apologise for those that follow me on snapchat because you followed along with me today & know most of this!)
Today was a lovely day. It started off with Trent taking the kids for a walk around the block so I could have my breakfast in silence! Now any mum would know that's a treat, to actually sit down and eat my toast and sip my tea in peace - it was wonderful.
Then Tommy and I got ready and headed to town.
Now for any normal person - this may not be a huge deal. But since I've been sick I haven't been to town by myself  - like it's almost been a year pretty much! I have never even driven our new car to the shopping centre here! So it was a big day.
When I was pregnant I stopped going out alone because I was much too weak to do many things and I didn't want to be out alone with LuLu and suddenly become incredibly unwell. So Trent was always with me.
Now being a Mum is something I feel pretty confident with, but going out without Trent is sometimes very nerve wracking for me. I get a bit anxious and stress out, but today I bit the bullet and hit the shops with my little man.
I would've never done this with LuLu when she was so small - but being my second baby I'm a bit more relaxed & confident in my self.
I wore Tommy in  my carrier by Burrow Baby and he was perfect - he slept pretty much the whole time! I got to browse through a new makeup store in town which carries all the high end brands and cool American stuff that all the YouTubers from America mention - which I'll never buy - because $90 on eyeshadow makes me cringe, especially when I think that's basically our monthly car insurance! (Trust me back in the days of "Bella In Bindyland" - I would've bought that eyeshadow without a second thought. But now #priorities)
And I got to walk leisurely through target - it was great! 
I found some sweet Bunny items that would make lovely easter gifts. Target also has lots of cute winter pjs coming out! 
All items pictured are from Target.
This cute top was from Myer, in the Miss Shop section I believe - I thought it would be a lovely Easter shirt! 
After finishing up in target we headed to the car so I could feed Tommy. 
A few snaps of my morning. 
Well, before we left this morning I was a little concerned because he hadn't done his morning poop - yes, I'm that mother that knows when her kids go/need to go. Anyway, I figured he would go at some point while we were out. Well, while I was feeding him - he did. And I didn't think much of it, it was a pretty long feed and I felt my jeans get a bit damp and I honestly just put it down to me & him being a bit sweaty. It wasn't sweat - he had his first ever massive poo-splosion! I was so thankful that I was wise enough to pack a spare change of clothes!! It was bad, like pants and suit had to be changed - really, really bad!
I called Trent for moral support while I cleaned him up - all I could do was laugh. I have never experienced this before - it never happened with LuLu - so it was an eye opener!!
After getting him all cleaned up, we headed to the next shopping centre. (I hate that to go to basic stores I need to go 3 seperate centres - but thankfully after the end of the month they will be all under 1 roof!! I cannot wait! Nothing worse than loading and unloading kids into the car all day!)
At the next shopping centre I found another sweet little rabbit suit that would be lovely for Easter.
This is from Best & Less - isn't it so sweet! If only Tommy was a little girl!
Tommy once again slept most of the time and was just a little champ! So proud of him!
I managed to eat some lunch and grab a few groceries then I was ready to head to Aldi and then go home.
Some funny things that happened today; one was the amount of comments I got from people about Tommy being the carrier. I heard a few "oh look, did you see she's got a baby in there" & lots of compliments of how content and handsome he is and how nice the wrap is & questions on where I got it.
The other funny (awkward/hilarious) moment was in Aldi - I was walking down an aisle and got bombarded by what seemed like an Asian tour group. They swarmed me and seemed infatuated by Tommy. Through our very confusing conversation with their very broken English I think they asked if Tommy was my baby and if I was his mum. When I said he was my baby they seemed to think I was much too young for children and kept saying "no, no school girl" - which I replied I was married and showed them my wedding ring. It was a very funny but difficult conversation. They did want to kiss Tommy, which I politely declined and let them pat him instead.
So that was my Friday - how was yours?
(I would love to say a big thank you to Trent for letting me have such a lovely day today. He & Lucy stayed home  & had a nice Daddy/daughter day together. He is a wonderful husband who makes sure I get some "self care" time in. I am thankful he realises how important that is!) 
I did a haul of my purchases on Snapchat - so if you like please feel free to check that out! If you miss it, I'll be sharing some of my purchases over the next week or so over on my Instagram! So make sure you are following me on social media!
Snap Chat; Bindy_30
Have a great weekend!

Life is good, especially on a Friday. 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Living Simply & Well; Meal Planning.

Say no to unnecessary to chaos. 
Hello friends!
Living simply - it's one of my big goals in life. (More on that in another post!)
There are many small changes I have made in our life to simplify the everyday. One of the big ones is meal planning and that is what today's post is on. 
For over a year now at the start of every month I sit down and meal plan the entire month. 
I only plan out our dinners but I have found it incredibly helpful in reducing stress in our life & helping me stay more organised.
Now I've had people ask me "how could you possibly know what you feel like in 20 days time"? 
Well, what I plan is not set in stone. I can easily swap things around if I like - the main point is to have all the ingredients ready & a dinner idea already decided for each day - that way there is no last minute running to the store on the day. I write out a detailed shopping list & do my groceries on my own when Trent is on days off. 
Our lives are constantly so busy - reducing one thing I have to think about or decide on per day is so helpful. I look at the calendar each morning, pull the meat out of the freezer or do meal prep in the morning and I am organised. 
When Trent is working I plan meals that have leftovers so he has a good & filling lunch for the following day, I often also make sure there is an extra serve left for LuLu. I occasionally will have leftovers for lunch too - but I am normally happy with a sandwich. If there are any extra leftovers (for example, from lasagne) that is frozen and we enjoy that on one of his days off for an easy dinner. 
When Trent is on days off, our meals are a lot more relaxed & you can tell from the calendar that occasionally the meal suggestion is vague. An "easy dinner" could be left overs, toasted sandwiches, bbq, burgers or even take away - those nights really often depend on what we are doing & how we feel. I don't mind being more relaxed on those days, but when Trent is on working - I 99.5% of the time stick exactly to the meal plan. 
So how do I do it?
I bought a large white board calendar from a local cheap shop (it is ugly, I know - I am yet to find a big month sized one I love - but for now it does the job...) and this calendar hangs on my wall near my pantry & fridge.
It serves multiple purposes, we also keep track of all our bills on it and we mark any important dates, appointments or things we need to remember. It is in a place where we both can see it easily & know what is happening. 
As for how I get meal ideas - I just got by what we are enjoying, we have family favourites. I always try to do a roast normally the day before Trent goes back on shift. Every now & then I scroll through pinterest and search for new dinner inspiration and I also add in meals depending on the season. As the weather cools down I'll start adding in meals like pumpkin soup & beef stroganoff & in the peak of Summer we often have more wraps & bbq meals. 
Our meals may not seem "super healthy" but each meal is loaded with veggies (our lasagne always has carrot, zucchini, onion and whatever other vegetables I have on hand in it), our pizza dinners are home made pizza - I make the dough in the thermomix and then I add our toppings. We do enjoy "comfort" type of food - pasta etc but I always try to balance it out with a good serve of vegetables. 
I don't plan out snacks, but that is because we kind of know what we like. Trent has his preferred snacks for work and I often try to bake something with LuLu during the week & we all enjoy that as our morning tea. LuLu always - every single morning, has a "fruit cup" (berries & grapes in a bowl) and she also sometimes has sultanas & apricots, she also loves yoghurt and in the afternoon as a treat she sometimes has a vanilla ice cream cup from home ice cream. 
So that is how I meal plan, my next step in staying even more organised with meals is to write down all our favourite meals & their recipes in a note book so I always have them on hand. I have a terrible habit of taking a screen shot of recipes and then when I am cooking I am constantly referring to my iPhone & having to unlock it. 
Do you meal plan? How do you do it? Monthly or weekly? What is your families go to favourite recipe?
I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below or on my social media.
Snap Chat; Bindy_30

Keep it simple.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sunday Series; LENT 2017. Time to start afresh.

…Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.” Nikki Giovanni

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday - the start of Lent. (Which means Tuesday is pancake day - yum!!)
This year for Lent I am planning to accept change & try TRY not to stress over it. 
(As well as similar things as last year; giving up coke, less screen time in the evening & continuing to declutter & donate items that are still in good condition. Feel free to read last years post HERE)
We are currently facing a massive change in our lives, it may or may not happen - but if all goes ahead it will be a new chapter all together for us. 
Lent I believe is the season of life, death & new life, a time for repentance & transformation. 
In our lives that can be reflected as living, repenting & starting afresh or living, going through something hard & coming out the other side ready to start new.
For us we are looking at beginning a new journey - but as in all changes in life - we have to trust God & go with Him & not try to force our paths. So if it happens, it happens.
In our lives I have found that the right changes & opportunities just happen for us - they aren't forced & they happen fairly easily - if they aren't meant to happen it is obvious and things just won't work out. So that is how we are approaching this next possible chapter of our lives, if it happens, it happens. 
It is no secret that 2016 wasn't a great year for us, besides a rough pregnancy & my health issues we also dealt with a lot of personal hurt and ended up needing to make some hard choices on the people we allow in our lives. Basically life has been hard & pretty hurtful. We are now at a point we just want to make a fresh start for ourselves. Even if it is just mentally - we are leaving the hurt, stress & anguish behind. Ideally we would like to make a physical fresh start - but we will see how that will pan out.
Lent 2017 will be a busy time for us, a time that our life may change drastically - but it may stay the same - who knows. I know our life has already been mapped out for us by our Lord - so where we need to be, we will be and what we need to do, will be done. We just have to watch how it unfolds & go with it - but I feel it is time for a change, so I am excited. 
I know this post was very vague & didn't explain much at all, but I assure you as things happen & become more permanent I will explain more, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. 
What are you giving up or doing more of for Lent? 
I would love to know, please leave a comment below or on one of my social media accounts!
Snap Chat; Bindy_30
Have a lovely Sunday.

Our Great Lord is always up to something. There is a reason you went through what you went through. Trust the process - He's got you. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

How I survive life with a newborn & a toddler.

Outer order contributes to inner calm.

As of just the other day I am a parent of a 3 & a something year old & a 2 month old. 
When did that happen? Wasn't he just born? Wasn't she just born?? Time please slow down!
Lately the number 1 question I am asked every time I chat to someone is "sooo, how's life with 2 kids?" And to be honest like I tell everyone, it has been pretty smooth sailing & easy and for that I am very thankful. 
Now for the first couple of weeks I was fortunate enough to have Trent home with me & that helped a lot, but he has been back at work for well over a month now so I have had to get a routine going. 
And before we go any further and I jinx myself I wish to point out we are still in the fourth trimester & Tommy is a very content little man who feeds well & enjoys his sleep and has made this transition from 1 to 2 kids very easy - this all may change at any given point - I am not naive enough to think otherwise.
But while it's all going well & I'm feeling confident in my mothering ability, I thought I would share my personal top 2 key points for surviving life with a toddler & a newborn on my own.
Over organise & plan everything and give yourself grace. 
Organisation & time management are top priorities for me in running my day, especially my evening routine - I believe it is why life has been pretty good for us. I am a planning & organising freak, I geek out over having everything organised & knowing exactly how things need to run. Of course planning things doesn't mean they will go to plan, but being prepared at least helps. 
One of the main things I over plan is our meals. I plan our dinners monthly, I have been doing this for over a year now. At the start of each month, I sit down and plan our dinner for everyday - when Trent is working I make sure our meals are ones that have leftovers for his & LuLu's lunches and for his days off I add meals in easier meals like leftovers, the occasional take out or easy dinners. And I have the flexibility to change any day - but the main point is being prepared and having dinner for each night already thought of. This takes away the stress of  the "what's for dinner" panic moment! I do groceries when Trent is on days off and make sure I have enough ingredients for each nights meal, so I never need to go to the store on my own with 2 kids or at the last minute. 
A brief look at our evening routine (which is very organised) during a typical day is; 
In the afternoon (when Trent is on shift) - by 2:30pm/3pm at the latest Tommy is bathed, fed and down for a sleep or playing on his mat. LuLu is bathed by 3:30pm and by 4:30pm at the latest her and I are eating dinner, then I tidy up and then we do reading from 5pm, this is often my quiet time with her - she loves to read, so we read A LOT of books - which can be time consuming, but I want to always encourage her love of books. After her regular books we read from the children's bible & little prayer books. 
Now that all may seem ridiculously early for the average family & it wouldn't work for school aged children - but for us in this current season of life it works. When Trent is on night shift we eat dinner together at 3:30pm before he leaves for work around 5pm - so early dinners are normal for us. 
I like to have everything done as early as possible because if by chance something goes wrong I have time to deal with it before LuLu's bed time - which is around 6-6:30pm, 7pm at the very latest. At 7pm Trent is home & he has dinner, shower and we can sit and catch up. If he is on night shift I use my time in the evening to clean, read, journal, do social media stuff or work on the blog. 
When Trent is working I aim for my schedule to run right on time - but when he is on days off I tend to get a bit relaxed and things slip, but that is ok - I have my "back up" here to help me when bedtimes & dinner run a little late - life happens and that is ok. But when I am on my own, I try to aim for everything to run as smoothly as possible & be done on time.
This allows for less stress and I have set myself up to have a small break in the evening - which I feel is important. Mothers need to schedule in "self care" time for ourselves, even if it  is just half an hour of doing something just for you or sitting in silence. It may not happen daily, but it really helps us recharge & taking care of ourselves helps us take better care of our family. 
So yes, my days maybe a little too planned & over organised, but for me it works and it has made life a lot less stressful. 
(And the way I run things may or may not work for you, this is just how I do things - I am not telling you to do the same! And of course there are days that this doesn't all happen so smoothly, but for the most of it, it does.)
And for my second but equally important thing to remember when having 1, 2 or 5 children - give yourself grace - basically cut yourself some slack! Remember you are human, you will not be able to juggle every ball perfectly always, you may stumble, make mistakes, get frustrated, yell or have a day or a week where it all goes wrong - and that is ok. The following day is a fresh start and life happens - life is not always terrific but it is what it is and it is what we make of it. So even when you are in the trenches of motherhood strive to look for one small thing to be thankful for, even if it is just bedtime when you can sit alone and just breath. Training our brains to look for things to be grateful for even in trying times is life changing.
So that is how my life with 2 kids is right now - it's good. I am thankful for that - I am continually praying for strength, patience and wisdom to be a better Mother as I am well aware I am not perfect - but I feel confident in how it is all going.
I have just said all this and we have just hit the second leap - so by tomorrow this may all have gone out the window! Ha! But I guess that is another main key to parenting, be flexible and roll with the changes in each season. 
What are your personal top 2 keys for parenting? I would love to know!
(If you would like me to do more detailed posts on dinner organisation, how I organise/plan our days or even a typical day in the life post, please let me know!)
Please leave a comment below or on anyone of my social media accounts;
Snap Chat; Bindy_30
I often share snippets of my day on snapchat, so if you would like to follow that please comment on my social media accounts or message me with your username as it's a private account & I don't accept names that don't seem familiar. (It is private as I occasionally show my kids on there!) 
Have a wonderful week.

I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

TV free for 1 month & counting!

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes... including you.

On Monday I posted on my facebook about not being able to watch The Super Bowl because we were going TV free, well that created a little bit of a conversation. So I thought I should write a blog post on it...
We have been TV free for just over 1 month.
One morning Trent sprung out of bed and then returned, I had no idea what he had done until we walked out to the living area & LuLu went to switch the TV on like she does every morning & Trent said "Oh looks like the TV is broken, see the red light is gone". She said "Oh" & seemed a little bit disappointed but just shrugged it off & went off to her playroom to play.
And that was that.
It was off & it hasn't come back on.
Well, to be honest Trent & I do occasionally watch a movie & we were watching Hart Of Dixie at night, but our Stan (similar to Netflix) subscription has ended so we are no longer watching that. But there is zero TV for LuLu and it is never on while she's awake. 
When Trent has been on night shift, instead of sitting down in front of the TV at night I have been reading, which I love but I use to feel like I didn't have time for, but clearly I do - TV was just consuming my free time.
For myself I have noticed I am much more productive & Trent and I spend more time talking to each other - well, I do the talking (lol). Watching TV as a couple makes you feel like you are spending time together, but really you aren't. You are just sitting side by side, not connecting. We are also getting more sleep because we are going to bed earlier (every bit of sleep counts when you are a parent!) 
LuLu hasn't seemed to mind at all, which makes me very happy & proud. 
Her creativity & imagination has kicked back into gear. She is playing with her toys more, like all of her toys! And drawing more, she is happy to go off in the morning and sit at her drawing table and colour.
After talking about ditching the TV for awhile I am glad Trent took the initiative to do it, it has been a positive decision for our family. 
So why did we do this?
In short, I think too much for TV for kids is not beneficial. I have thought this forever and up until about midway through last year LuLu hardly watched TV - she did watch it but not a great deal. But then I got sick. 
Trent still had to work, I was weak, pregnant & sick - so I let her watch TV to occupy herself. I was stuck on the lounge a lot of the time, so it was an easy fix when I was too unwell to really do anything else. But then we got too comfortable with TV and it was on regularly throughout our day & the more I sat around & was able to focus on the kids shows and realise how rubbish most of them were, the more I wanted her to stop watching it all together. Many of the characters on kids shows are rude & naughty & I could see my sweet girl picking up silly phrases from these animated brats! I have no idea what these shows are meant to teach kids - but I couldn't see them doing any good for my child. (Peppa, Lola etc I am looking at you!!)
(The shows I don't mind are the Wiggles & Playschool.)
Since the TV shut off I noticed pretty much instantly LuLu's attention span increased greatly, she was focusing on more activities and doing lots more imaginative play & for longer periods of time & independently. She can go into her playroom and stay there for around 1 hour just playing and making up little scenarios with her toys. She happily entertains herself when I am busy cleaning or feeding Tommy (I do regularly sit down to read or play for a short while in the playroom with her - but I feel it is important for kids to be left alone to be "bored" - this is where their imaginations take off, so I do make myself busy during the day so she has some alone time - but I do love occasionally hiding behind the door frame listening to her play pretend, it is so funny & sweet hearing what she comes up with!) 
When TV was apart of our lives - her big toy room that is full of almost every type of toy you can imagine went unplayed with regularly and that frustrated me! Now she loves to colour & draw more & we also have started doing little learning work books in our spare time. LuLu has always loved to read but now we read even more books and she has memorised even more of them & can almost memorise a book after me reading it just one time. She also happily eats at the table with us now instead of wanting to eat in front of the TV, like she wants to sit with us & chat!
Shutting the TV off has been a positive step in our lives and I don't see us switching it on anytime soon. During the day we do have an American country music station playing, we regularly have spontaneous dance parties & LuLu loves trying to sing along to the songs! 
We may start letting her watch the occasional movie as a treat in the future but for now we are enjoying it being off. I highly doubt ABC2 will be allowed back on, I would prefer to buy a PlaySchool or Wiggles DVD then allow the nonsense that is often on that channel back in our house. 
So why do I feel TV is so bad?
In short, I believe it kills the imagination & attention span of children. TV can cause children to become irritable & angry, it can negatively effect their behaviour and sleep, shut off cognitive learning & can cause kids to lack creativity. I've seen some of this in my own child. When we were at the height of TV watching she rarely wanted to entertain herself or play with her toys, especially on her own. But thankfully since turning it off I have seen a remarkable change in her. And I do feel she is going to bed a lot easier at night. She plays hard during the days & by 5:45pm/6pm she's ready to lay down in bed and is asleep not long after. 
Limiting screen time in kids can decrease the likelihood of a range of childhood problems ranging from obesity to attention span issues.  
(I haven't mentioned LuLu's fitness or outdoor time increasing at all because she has always been an active kid who would gladly pick outside over TV. But not all kids are the same - so in some children limiting TV time could improve their fitness/health levels by them becoming more interested in outside time.) 
I also should mention we don't do any form of "screen time" for LuLu. We don't own an iPad or tablet, if she is touching our phones it is only to hand it to us. Very rarely she may play with the calculator on Trent's phone, she likes to count the numbers & she does enjoy the snapchat filters on my phone. So TV was the only screen we had to deal with.
Now I realise this decision isn't for everyone and no judgement to those who have the TV on - every family is different and what is right for us maybe wrong for you & vice versa. This however is a positive choice for our family and I thought by writing this post it may encourage another family to give this a go if they were on the fence about switching off. 
  • A tip if you do want to switch the TV off, is turn it off at the standby button or even at the wall, do this especially if you have a clever toddler who clues onto things very well. We didn't want to make turning the TV off to be a punishment for no real reason, so saying it was "broken" worked for us. That way we can bring it back if we wish & she doesn't have bad feelings towards the situation. 
If you plan to or already have gone TV free I would love to hear how it went or how you are going, or any thoughts you have on this!
Please comment below or on one of my social media accounts!
Snap Chat; Bindy_30
If we make it to 6 months TV free I will do another update!

Turn off, tune in. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Simple Home by Rhonda Hetzel {Give Away}

'Being in charge of your own life, and making decisions based on what you want to do rather than what you have to do, gives you a rare kind of contentment and shows you that every ordinary day offers magnificent opportunities.' 
- Rhonda Hetzel.

Hello friends!
Today I come to you with a give away! 
A give away to celebrate being back at blogging and the new year... 
(Sorry I did plan for this to go up 1 month ago, but life is a bit busy!) 
So we will make it the start of February competition. 

For this competition I am giving away a book. 
The Simple Home by Rhonda Hetzel. 
I love this author/blogger and get so much inspiration from her, I've been following her for years!
This is her latest book and I just bought myself a copy & one for someone else - one of you!

I briefly saw Rhonda last year at the Toowoomba Library when she was on her book tour and she was so incredibly encouraging to listen to. She was honest about why she made certain lifestyle changes and why she has chosen to live a more simple life.
To me she is so wise & she has such a kind & warm charm to her - kind of like an old neighbour or grandmother you could listen to for hours & learn so much from. That's what reading her books are like, advice from a wise friend. I really admire her and her practical approach to living. 
The message she promotes of simplicity, frugality, back to basic living, family, kindness & the importance of home is something I love & to me it makes sense.
I strive to live a simplified life, a life that is more focused on enjoying moments and each other instead of things. 
During her speech last year, she said something that resonated with me - that everyone's idea of simple living is different. And I absolutely 110% agree with this, there is no one or right way to live simply. I like to think I live a little more simply than others but I know I don't live as simply as others do. If that makes sense. 
We are all on our own journey and doing things at our own pace.  My goal with my version of simple living is making my own cleaning products to eliminate the need for harsh chemicals in our home, making more food from scratch to reduce the number of preservatives & additives in our diet, trying to be more frugal & live with less and to declutter our home. And to eventually live a life where we are growing our own produce & maybe raising our own protein and if we are dreaming big - maybe even be self sufficient to an extent. (The last point is a long term "dream goal", but for now we try to harvest our own venison when we can.) 

This book is a year long guide broken down into months. 
"A month-by-month guide to self-reliance, productivity and contentment." 
There are chapters on organising your year, finances, growing & preserving your own food, recipes for not just food but also cleaning products, sewing & crafts, cleaning, health and slowing down plus much more. 
This book is full of beautiful images and crammed full of so much knowledge and wisdom for life & the home and I'm sure you will love it!
I have owned Rhonda's first 2 books for years and find them incredibly helpful & inspiring to living a more slow & simple life - the type of life I aspire to. I regularly use them as guides to flip back to for advice.
If you think you would enjoy this book, which I think most of my readers would, I encourage you to enter this give away! 
There is an entry form below with multiple ways to enter & you can gain extra entries for sharing on Facebook & Instagram about the giveaway! 
I highly recommend this book (as well as Rhonda's first 2 books; Down To Earth & The Simple Life. 

Just so we are all clear, here are the T&C's;
  1. You must be a follower of this blog, either subscribe via Google, bloglovin or by email!
  2. Please comment on this blog post. Either tell me why you like ModernWifeLife31, what you would like to read more of or how you have simplified your life. 
  3. Please share this blog post.
  4. Please LIKE ModernWifeLife31 on Facebook
  5. Please follow ModernWifeLife31 on Instagram
  6. Please follow me on Twitter @Modernwifelife3
  7. You can receive an extra entry by sharing the competition post from my Facebook page & also sharing the image on Instagram - remembering to tag @Modernwifelife31 in your post. (I will manually add an additional entry for every share)
  8. Australian entries only.
  9. Competition starts 12am February 1st 2017 and ends February 8th 2017 at midnight.  
  10. Winner will be announced by lunchtime the following day.
  11. 1 prize only. 
  12. Winner and prize are final.
  13. Winner has 48 hours to contact with me their postal addresses & I will post out the book as soon as possible by standard tracked post. 
  14. Prize was purchased by me and this competition is not sponsored. RRP of book is $45. 
  15. This competition is in no way affiliated or endorsed by Facebook, Instagram or Rhonda Hetzel.
  16. By entering this competition you agree to this terms & conditions.  

Please enter by this entry form...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for your ongoing support over the last year when I have been a little absent - I truly appreciate every single one of my readers. 
Thank you for entering & good luck!