Sunday, 26 March 2017

How to change a life. {Days for Girls}

Yesterday I attended a fundraiser afternoon tea for "Days for Girls", my best friend Kelsie had invited me & I am so glad she did. 
I had briefly heard about the work this organisation does - but I was keen to learn more & do my tiny bit to help, so I off I went to Dalby to attend this beautiful afternoon. 
For those who don't know what Days for Girls is, it is a non-profit organisation that has groups & chapters all over the world that raise funds to make & provide reusable sanitary hygiene kits to give to women in areas of need (Africa, India & Brazil). 
Days for Girls is a feminine hygiene program for women less fortunate than us. 
Periods happen to every woman in this world - it is a natural & normal process. Unfortunately though for some girls having their period means losing days of school, work & also being unable to leave the house. They are unable to afford or access sanitary products and resort to using things like leaves, rocks, corn husk, mattress stuffing & newspaper to try and make makeshift products to control the bleeding, the lack of education about menstruation also leads to shame & disgust. 
Could you imagine this? We live in such a privileged country - to be honest I hardly think twice about how fortunate I am to have something so basic each time I apply a pad & read the trivia on the back of the packaging while being slightly annoyed at the inconvenience of "that time of the month" - yes, we are that spoilt our feminine hygiene products have trivia on them. Yet, there are women in the world using leaves and hiding away in shame because they are experiencing something so natural and normal. But due to lack of money & resources they can't access basic products to use during their period so they can't continue to attend work or school & because of lack of female health education are made to feel ashamed and dirty while they have their period. 
The aim for DFG is to supply sustainable feminine hygiene kits to women & girls who would normally go without.  Providing them with education & dignity by giving them reusable sanitary products that are washable & can be reused for up to 3 years and in some areas there are local in-country kit producers, which creates sustainability & provides income for local communities. 

Days for Girls from Miles Hanon on Vimeo.

This organisation I believe is wonderful & the more I read about it the more I love it & it was put on my heart to share it with you all today.
Women everywhere should have access to sanitary products - menstruating is a natural monthly process which we have no control over. 
(I do realise that this issue of lack of feminine hygiene products is not just over seas, there is also problems for homeless & less fortunate women in our own country).
Helping others should be something we all strive to do, it is something I want to raise my children to do without a second thought - to be generous & always look for ways to help those less fortunate - because we are so incredibly fortunate & I believe educating ourselves & also our children on the situations people are in all over the world & ways we can help them is incredibly eye opening and humbling. 
If you would like to read more or be involved in Days for Girls I've included some links below. 
Days for Girls.
Days for Girls Toowoomba.
Days for Girls Dalby.

I feel good knowing the money I spent yesterday is going to assist women & girls to feel more dignified & continue their education. 
Yesterday was so lovely, it was a gorgeous afternoon. There were markets, raffles, a silent auction & so much delicious food. 
Our thank you gifts for attending the afternoon tea were beautiful tea cup sets & also some delicious fudge!
Kelsie & I with my sleepy little man.
My handsome little date (fast asleep) & the lovely homewares pack we won in the silent auction. Very happy to know the money I spent is going directly to providing kits for the girls & women. 
God put on a beautiful orange sunset as the afternoon tea ended. 

Friends, thank you so much for reading this post. I urge you to check out Days for Girls and I also would love to know what causes are close to your heart, please leave a comment below or reach me on my social media.

Snap Chat; Bindy_30
Have a beautiful Sunday.

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.