Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Finlee and Me Product Review #1

Recently the lovely Angela of  Finlee and Me   (a totally awesome online kids store where you can buy some amazing things for kids including toys, bedroom decor, baby products and a whole lot more...)  asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of their products and writing about them here on my blog.....eeeek how exciting!!  

So I will be reviewing some products that I have chosen from their store.....the girls will be very willingly road testing them and I will write about the results here each month!

So here goes!!

Being mums of school aged children many of us have just survived the school holidays and then we were welcomed back to school with a week of rain and storms.  The kids were pretty much kept in the classroom for break times and confined to the house when home.....let's just say that cabin fever had set in!

This weekend just gone produced a bit more rain and a few more storms but thanks to Finlee and Me my sanity was saved!!!

This wooden Noughts and Crosses set is great value at only $9.95

The girls really enjoyed playing this game.....well maybe Miss 10 enjoyed it a little bit more as she won the first few games...

But it didn't take long for Miss 6 to crush Miss 10's winning streak with a win of her own....

And let's just say that she was pretty happy about that!!!

I loved the noughts and crosses because it is a classic game, all of the girls were able to join in and even hubby got in on the action and gave the girls a few games.  And it saved me a dozen or so sheets of paper that the girls usually go through!!

On top of the crazy weekend weather I had my washing machine break down....with all five girls winter uniforms needing to be washed... .panic!! Hubby tinkered with it on Sunday morning but progress was slow.  So I gathered up all of my washing and headed off to my sisters house, leaving all five girls behind with hubby who I knew would not want to be interrupted every five minutes with the girls bickering or boredom.

Again Finlee and Me came to the rescue, this time with a gorgeous Make A Match Memory Game which you can purchase for $21.95.

This is the cutest little memory game that I have ever seen!  I like to steer clear of your typical Barbie or Disney branded games so this was perfect.....I was a little excited when we unpacked it.....I mean look how cute those pictures are!!

The game has 20 wooden discs so there are 10 pairs to find.  The instructions tell you two ways to play which is great.

The first way is by turning all of the pieces face down, turning over one piece and then turning over a second to see if you find the pair or not.

Miss 6 was very good at this game!

The second way to play is by turning one of each disc face down and then putting the remaining discs face up around them.  You then elect which piece you are looking if you say 'owl' and you turn over the owl you get to keep the pair....if not it is the next persons turn and so on.

The girls loved the memory game and by all reports from hubby they played contently for quite some time...thank goodness!!

The memory game is also available in a 'zoo' edition so when your little one has mastered the 10 pairs you could combine the two sets and have a mega game of memory on your hands!!

We survived the weekend!  The girls had a great time playing both of these games and I cannot recommend highly enough that you pop over to Finlee and Me and have a browse....I'm sure you'll love their products as much as I do!  

And be sure to follow Finlee and Me on facebook and instagram too so you don't  miss a thing!!

Make sure you keep an eye out for next months product review!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas....

Sunday 10th  May is Mother's day....that doesn't leave all the dads out there many shopping days to pop out with the kids and choose some lovely gifts for mum....or maybe the reality is that you have to pop out to the shops while the kids are at school and grab a gift for yourself to then give to hubby to present to you on Mother's Day morning...well either way here's a little gift guide to make the job easier for whomever it is hitting the shops!!  

I have chosen the gifts from Kmart, Target and Big W as chances are you will have a store near you!

1.  I love this  Marquee Love Light  from Target  and it is only $40. It would look great on the wall in the bedroom or living area....and what better way to tell mum that you love her!!

2.  How cute is this Metal Watering Can  from Kmart priced at $15.  How lovely would it look used to hold some bright flowers...hydrangeas would be perfect!

3.  I always seem to be in need of a new purse so this lovely Womens Chelsea Wallet  from Big W would be perfect.  And it is only $23 in their online store!

4. How beautiful is this Leah Vase  from Big W.  Mum would love this with a big bunch of flowers I'm sure and it is on sale for $19 in their online store.

5. Who can resist this Cyclops Women's Vintage Bike  from Target!!  I love a vintage look bike!  And at $179 mum could be off to the park for a bike ride.

6. This Coral Fleece Dressing Gown  from Target is the softest dressing gown ever!  Hubby bought me this for my birthday a few weeks back so I can totally vouch for this...mum will love it!  Priced at $40.

7.  I love the pop of colour with this Large Planter Pouch  from Kmart.  It's sure to brighten mums day, everyday!  And it great value at only $6.

8.  Oh this Set Of 3 Classic Mirrors  from Kmart is just beautiful.  I love them hanging together as shown here but they would also be lovely hanging in different rooms too!  And it is only $12 for the set!

9.  This beautiful LED Candle in a Lantern  from Big W is a beautiful piece that mum could proudly display around the house...I love all of the detail!   Priced at $49.99.

So what are you waiting for??  Print the list, circle the ones you love and hand it over to hubby, or get out there and grab yourself a beautiful gift and start practicing your 'surprised face' for Mother's Day morning!!!!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Does your hubby take the kids shopping to buy you a pressie for Mother's Day 
or do you sneakily buy your own!!!

Monday, 27 April 2015

A Serious Case Of Neglect...

sponsored post for Scholl

It was never my intention to be neglectful, honestly it wasn't.  It's not like I planned it or anything, it just kinda...well....kinda 'happened'.

In my defence though things do get crazy busy around here........with five kids I mean seriously, there is never a dull moment!!

There's the grocery shopping to be done....

School pick ups to remember (and if it is going to rain then you can bet that it will do so at 3.00pm!!).....

The garden to maintain...

Exercise to fit in.....

And sometimes there's even somewhere fancy to go.... (okay so it is rare but hey!)....

And believe me, that's not even the half of it!!  Add to that soccer games, netball training, art lessons, trips to the library,  household chores....

I never meant to neglect my feet, honestly I didn't.....but you can see now how it happened right? I mean there just aren't enough hours in the day.....

Or so I thought until recently when the lovely people at Scholl sent me some foot care products to trial.  

The first product that I tried was the Eulactol Heel Balm Gold.  This balm is to be used for dry,  cracked heels...and after a summer of wearing thongs and neglecting my feet my heels were in dire need of this.....I'll spare you the photo but you get the idea right....!!

Quick and easy to apply all I had to do was rub the balm into my heels twice a day. The balm was odour free and non greasy.  I put it on at night just before putting my bed socks on and jumping into bed (romantic hey!!) and again each morning after I got home from dropping the girls to school and swiftly returned to my bed socks and slippers...(don't judge me .... it was cold and rainy and daytime slippers were essential!!!)

After a few days I actually started to notice that my heels were not as rough and after 7-10 days I noticed a huge improvement.....I even asked hubby for a second opinion and he was surprised by the difference.

The second product that I was sent to trial was the Scholl Blister Shield Plasters. The pack contains 3 large and 2 small plasters.  Now these were instantly snapped up by Miss 15 as soon as they arrived as she has been complaining that her soccer boots were giving her blisters (and quite frankly her complaints were falling upon deaf ears...seriously do you know how many complaints come my way each gets a bit hard to action them all!!!)

Thankfully the blister shields have provided great relief to Miss 15 and as she is our star midfielder (haha biased  much!!)  we need her able to keep running all game, every game...!!  I will definitely be adding these to my next shopping list.

I've now got to admit that after all that these poor old feet go through each day in raising five children the least I can do is show them a little TLC and these Scholl products have made that an easy task!

This is one case of neglect that has definitely been turned around for good!

If you have dry skin on feet or problems with cracked heels then Scholl definitely has the on these links to see what products could help you.

So tell me are you kind to your feet each day after all that they do for you?

Friday, 24 April 2015

When Your Hubby Is A Tradie....

This week hubby had a few days with no work so we took the chance to sit down while all the girls were at school and try to put a plan in place for the next few months in terms of things to do around the house, projects to complete, others to start etc..  With less sunlight hours and the start of Saturday netball and Sunday soccer we needed to come up with a plan or the next few months would pass by in a blur!

Armed with pen and paper we were each making notes along the way like when we would start particular projects, what we would need to do them, some of the costs etc..

Well before I knew it hubby was insisting that we download a project planner like those used on site projects and start entering all of the stuff in there...holy crap! Always the tradie lol !!

What felt like an eternity was spent breaking down tasks, entering planned start dates, planned durations, expected finish dates, reorganizing activities....until eventually we had everything entered in the project planner.

And now it is hanging in the hallway with my next twelve weeks look something like this.....

Yeah I'm not sure what it all means  either !!  But apparently each week I have to update my actual start date, actual duration, percentage complete.  And in theory we will have a whole heap of projects completed by the end of July!

Stay tuned to see if the project planner works....or if all the tasks just get pushed later and later on the planner like they do in reality on the sites hubby works on!!

Tell me, do projects ever get completed at your house...
or is it more like our place where projects only ever reach about 85% completion!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

My Lounge Room Makeover ..... well 'Virtual' Makeover!

It's a cold, wet day.  All five girls are back at school.  I am home alone for the first time in two and a half weeks.  Piles of mail and bills await opening.  Dinner needs to be prepared.

Sounds like the perfect time to sit back with a mug of hot chocolate and fantasize about a lounge room makeover that is totally not likely to happen because  a)  we have no available funds  and  b)  we have no available time.  But hey that's the joy of a 'virtual' lounge room makeover!!

About 4 years ago hubby knocked through a doorway from our lounge/dining area to our garage which we converted to a room......okay 'converted' is probably a bit of an overstatement ....essentially we gyprocked the roof and most of the walls, put down some carpet squares and vowed to 'finish it off' day!

So for the past 4 years we have had this huge gaping doorway knocked though with the best of intentions for a door of some sort to go day!

Well we are now in the process of setting up that garage as bedroom space for Miss 17 and Miss 15 so the issue of the door between lounge/dining and garage has been bumped back up on the do to list.

And it is from that point that my whole virtual lounge room makeover is created!  

You see the space where we knocked the door through is quite large and what kind of door to put there has been a bit of an issue.....but one that I have solved with my discovery of barn door hardware......  So essentially this is a track system that will allow a barn style door to be hung and slide to close the opening.

The barn door concept will work really well in the area we have and the barn door itself will then become a feature of our lounge/dining room.

But clearly now the whole lounge/dining area would need a makeover to complement the barn door!

That is when I found DIY pallet walls....oh my gosh!!  I absolutely love this look and since you can acquire pallets a plenty for free then it will mostly be our labour required to get this effect...okay so together with a nail gun, a saw of some sort and maybe some stain.... 

So now in my head we've got a bit of a rustic old barn thing going on.....and I love me a rustic old barn!!!!  A gorgeous old barn conversion in a little English country town would be  a dream!!

Well now that I have my barn door and my pallet wall all that will be left to do is paint the remaining walls and hunt down some furniture that will fit the old barn theme.

And then the best bit....time to accessorize with wooden ladders, reclaimed timbers and wrought iron pieces

I am now that crazy person who will be constantly on the look out for free pallets on the side of the road as I try to make this virtual makeover become a reality! 

I may have gotten a bit carried away with my Lounge Room Makeover Pinterest board!! You can check it our here if you like....maybe make yourself a cup of tea first!!

And here is the source of each of the images in the top collage...just in case you love these things as much as I do!

So tell me are you due for a lounge room make over....or is there some other room in your house that is crying out for some attention?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Friday, 17 April 2015

Inspired to Write 20 Things About Me......

So when I woke up this morning I had no idea whether or not I would do a blog post, I mean there's still that kitchen cleaning to be finished from yesterday, school uniforms to organised for Monday, kids to feed...internet to peruse!!

Clearly I decided to start with internet perusal as you do!  I came across this post by Chantelle Ellem aka Fat Mum Slim.... 20 Things About Me. ...well I love to know more about bloggers that I stalk....I mean I popped over the blog for a read and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Chantelle!

Then I got to thinking about whether or not I could even come up with 20 things about me.....and so the procrastination....I mean challenge.....began!

Here goes....let's see how far I can get with this....20 things you may not know about me....

I am shit scared of heights.....buildings, bridges, towers....there's no discrimination here!! The one time we went to Paris of course going up the Eiffel Tower was high on the list of things to see and do.  When we got to the top I was so terrified!!  I swear the tower was moving!  I held my then three year old daughters hand so tight she may have actually squealed in pain!!

I am way short....barely 151cm to be honest {maybe more like 150cm but 151cm sounds so much better!!}  I purposely take Miss 17 to the grocery store with me if I know that there will be a chance I will need things from the high shelves!!!!

I hate bugs and spiders and flying things, oh and snakes.....yet sometimes I think how lovely it would be to live in the country lol !!!

I love love love really love it!

I could travel forever!  I love packing for holidays, arriving at new destinations, finding my way around, living out of suitcases, packing again.....I love it....perhaps I should be a gypsy!

I love the beach from an aesthetic point of view....not so much from a sand, sun and surf point of view!

I sometimes think I would like to run a 5km fun run......but given that I have never even run anywhere {well maybe once for the bus some 25 years ago}  I'm not sure how this is going to happen!

I like to be alone and I like silence......make that I love silence.  So when I am home alone I don't usually have the radio or the tv on....I just listen to the.....oh yeah....the silence!!!!

I love all things rustic, vintage, antique and shabby chic.  

I start craft projects at a much greater rate than I finish them!!  In fact I never really finish them!

I can cry at almost anything!!!!

I have no idea where our forever home should be.  You should know that stuff by this age shouldn't you??  My first choice is a castle in France....which I may have mentioned numerous times this week on various internet posts...obsessed much!

I love maiden hair ferns......but cannot get one to flourish in the spot that I want it in my house.  So I may have replaced it with a new one a few times when it has died {bit like parents do with their kids goldfish....sshhh don't telly anybody!!}

I have a very low pain threshold....I think.paper cuts hurt.....a lot!!!!!

I love Elvis, The Beatles, Beach Boys....ok there I've said it!!!  

Okay so I am really struggling now !!!!

I just adore newborn in I must hold every newborn baby that I see!!!  I love them!!  Newborn is my favourite stage....those first six weeks I love them. Haha do you get the idea!!!

I am really, really good at time wasting!!!!!

I'm a follower, not a leader.  I hate to be the first person into the theatre or cinema and having to decide where to sit!!!!

I don't swear very often....well out loud anyway {in my head might be a different story some days!!}

Woohoo!!  I made it!!!

I wear jeans way too fact I would wear them every day {okay sometimes I do!!}

That was a bit of a struggle !!  But there you there you go....20 things you might not have known about me!!   You know that as soon as I hit publish on this post I will think of a dozen better things I could have written!!!!!

I'd love to get to know you all a little better so do tell me a little something that I might not know about you...go ahead, don't be shy!!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Every Single Time

My eldest daughter is in Year 12.....that means I am in my 13th year of being a school mum. And do you know what??

Even after all of these years I still {stupidly} think that I will get so much done in the school holidays......EVERY.SINGLE.TIME !!!!

As the holidays approach I start to think about all of the cleaning and sorting, the culling and re-organizing that I can do in the break.  I anticipate the baking that I will do, the homemade school lunches and snacks that will fill the freezer.  I get hopeful, enthusiastic, eeek even a tad excited!

Then the holidays arrive and I say I'll give myself a few days just to ease into things, you know give myself a well deserved rest for surviving some 10-11 weeks of school.....all that lunch preparation, afternoon snacks, uniform washing and ironing, the early morning kid wrangling!!  This little rest very quickly turns into a much loved pattern of late night television viewing followed by cosy morning sleep ins.  This pattern goes on way too long, to the point where I have to get myself to snap out of it before school goes back!!

The last few days of the holidays I almost manage to get productive....almost. But hey it's basically too late now so I might as well just rest for these last few days before the mayhem of school starts again right?  After all I'll be needing my strength to get through the new term.

So what at times in the previous fortnight felt like an eternity now feels like the blink of an eye!  The school holidays are over and lo and behold I have done absolutely nothing that I intended to do.

Sunday afternoon sees a desperate search of the house for school shoes and library book...{hmm if we'd actually cleaned up the girls rooms in the holidays like I had intended to do this wouldn't be happening now!} Crap did anyone have homework they had to do.....where the heck is their homework book?? Sunday night sees a last minute dash to the supermarket to grab lunch box food as that intended bake off never happened.

School goes back and we fall straight back into the routine of lunches and uniforms, homework and assignments, then some 9 weeks later my thoughts turn to the upcoming school holidays and once again I envisage how much I will be able to get done.....all of the cleaning and sorting, the culling and re-organizing, all of that baking and cooking.....


So tell me....are you productive with your school holidays or 
do you take advantage of the time to rest (like me lol !!)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Easter Has Come and Gone.

So Easter has come and gone.  

And what was my favourite thing about the Easter break?

Was it sleep ins? Family gatherings?  Easter eggs?

In actual fact my favourite thing about the Easter break was the chance to relax and pause my money worries for a few days.....that's the great thing about public holidays and weekends....not having to monitor bank transactions constantly to make sure all debits can be covered, not having to transfer money from this account to that because a payment is going to come out. 

Though copious amounts of chocolate did come a close second!  ;-)

But now the break is over and it is back to the usual money monitoring worries which is ever so draining and exhausting!

Last week I wrote a bit about our struggles to make ends meet, you can check that post out here.

Following on from that post I heard from many of you that you too suffer similar financial difficulties and many of you appreciated a story that you could relate to.

I have been reading a lot in books and on the internet, looking for ways to make money, ways to save money.  Looking for tips and ideas, anything that I can find to help improve our situation.

So I've decided to have a bit of a focus on finances and will be putting together a little series called  'Our Finances Suck' and will write regular posts on what I read and what I learn along the way in the hope that it will not only be of benefit to me but maybe to some of you as well.

I have also lined up a few guest bloggers to write some posts for the series as well....better than just hearing me ramble on right!

Here's hoping we can put an end to our financial worries this year and even move forward in improving our situation!   How else am I going to be able to afford me a castle in France one day!!

I'll try not to make it too boring....I promise....because if we don't laugh along the way we'll probably cry lol !!!!

So stay tuned for part one of 'Our Finances Suck' next week!

What are your biggest financial worries and problems?  
Is there anything you would like to see the 'Our Finances Suck' series include?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Friday, 10 April 2015

10 on 10 Photography Circle - April

School holidays are upon us and in between the plentiful rain showers there have been moments of sunshine.

Miss 10 and Miss 6 ventured outside in one of the bursts of sunshine with their bubble mixture and a great photo opportunity fact I think I am now a bit obsessed with photographing bubbles!!

I love how something so simple can provide so much fun...for all ages!  And now I love the thrill of trying to actually catch a bubble in my photo.....because there may possibly have been a few hundred photos taken that were just sky, or grass or the back is so frickin hard to get the bubble in the photo lol !!

So here are a few of the better photos captured....

Oh and I have just discovered (after like two years of using blogger!)  that if you click on the first photo all the photos featured in this post will come up in a pop up window and give you much better detail...who knew!  But make sure you read through til the end to follow the 10 on 10 blogging circle...there is a great showcase of talent to see!

Eeek the photo I have been bursting to show you! Pun totally intended!
The moment the bubble burst!!!

After blowing bubbles became for my photo taking pleasure
rather than their own enjoyment they quit!

Bubble wands abandoned until their memory of this day fades!!

Once again all of my photos were taken on my iphone and using the Sony Smart Lens....I love that lens!!!

Please check out the other blogs in this photography circle....there's a lot to love in our 
wonderful group....  
I am linking to Fleur over at  Our Urban Box    
Be sure to check out her great photos for this month
by clicking here

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Dear Noel...

Hi Noel,

Don't you just love a letter from a random stranger....but do read on....I'm promise that I'm not totally crazy (yet)!

So you see 'Noel Fielding' has become a bit of a household name around here....our second daughter has watched a few of your comedy shows and really loves your style of humour.  Now we must watch Never Mind The Buzzcocks on a weekly basis (and clearly we are out of sync here as we just watched a Christmas special last week!!)  Often she just throws random Noel facts at us at dinner!  You see she loves comedy and loves art....common ground!

Here's the know how teenagers rarely leave their rooms and would rather be seen dead than be seen out in public with their parents....yeah well that pretty well describes our daughter.  If it weren't the need for food and toilet breaks she would probably never leave her room!  Seriously we could almost leave her behind at times if we weren't focused!!   Imagine how inconvenient going to school is for her!