Top tips to give your home a facelift this spring...

Friday, August 29, 2014

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Many people put the idea of giving their home a facelift in the too hard (and too expensive) basket. But it can be very cheap to spruce up your home for Spring. While a personal facelift might cost you tens of thousands of dollars and a fair bit of pain, reviving your home with some fresh touches can be done painlessly with a small budget. Here are a few tips to help you give your place a great new look.

Start Outdoors
Nothing will improve the kerbside appeal of your home like tidying up the yard and doing a spot of landscaping. An overgrown yard makes a home look neglected. Get rid of any clutter around the yard, mow, trim the edges and prune overgrown shrubs and trees. Add some bark, straw or other mulch to your garden beds to give them a lift. Remove any dead or dying plants and add a couple of colourful shrubs or flowers – it will give your garden a brand new lease of life.

Give the Roof Some Attention
An aging and fading roof will make your house look old and tired. The elements take their toll over the years and often gutters and pipework need attention too. Regular inspections and washing will increase the life of roofing, and will give your home a lift. Getting up that high is risky business so it’s a good idea to hire professionals with experience on the roof, such as Roofmasters, to carry out inspections and improvements. 

The Power of First Impressions: Spruce up the Front Door
Houses are like people. We judge them by our first impression. Your front door and entryway are the first things guests will see when visiting your home so it’s worth paying attention to how they look. You don't have to buy a new door – a fresh coat of paint or a quirky brass doorknocker will add some pizzazz to your entrance. Add a beautiful potted plant to the doorstep and to increase the wow factor for visitors. A creaky opening is not the best introduction to your home, so give any creaky hinges and handles some thorough attention with oil.

front entrance envy...

A Lick of Paint
Colour trends change over time. If your walls sport an outdated hue then your entire home will feel tired and old. Go to your local paint store and check out what’s on offer. Talk to the salesperson and get their advice on what’s in vogue. Paint one or more of your walls to give your home a contemporary feel – it’s also a great opportunity to cover up scuffmarks and scratches.

Throw out the Clutter
One of the most profound things you can do to give your home a facelift is to get rid of all the clutter. Go from room to room and gather up what you don't need or use. Throw out what is broken and give away or sell items that are still in good order. A neat and well ordered space will add peace and harmony to your day-to-day life. Your home will look just as refreshed as your feel.

Implement one or more of these tips and get your house ready for Spring. You will be so glad you did once you see the results.

'Simplyclean' Household Cleaning Range...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recently I was approached by the lovely folk at Simplyclean to try out some of their household cleaning range. 

Upon confirming that their range is Environmentally safe and Toxin free, I said..

The Simplyclean range was developed and made by an Australian family business in the beautiful Northern Rivers region of NSW (near Byron Bay).  The range is so popular because:
·        They work really well!
·        They smell great as they only use natural oil fragrance. The lemon myrtle oil is grown just up the road from the family business.
·        They’re toxin & sensitiser free, so they protect families’ long and short term health - there is no sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), polyethylene glycol (PEG), parabens, mineral oils or diethanolamines (CDE).
·        They are, of course, eco-friendly and biodegradable, plus there is no palm oil and they are vegan friendly (no animal products and not tested on animals – except the pet shampoo and conditioner!)
·        There are no fillers or fluff.  Only the essential, purest ingredients are used to maximise performance in all our products (e.g. the front loader laundry powder does an amazing 50 washes per kg AND it cleans up dirty footy gear VERY well!)
·        All products are grey water safe and the majority are septic safe.

Honestly, the smell is DIVINE!!!. 
I have enjoyed pottering around and cleaning whilst breathing in the freshness of this range. For once, it hasn't felt like a hideous chore!!

Check out Simplyclean here for all of the product info and support a fabulous Australian business.  


P.S.  A Simplyclean TIP:  It’s coming up to the mould time of year and the Lemon Myrtle Disinfectant Cleaner works a treat on outside and inside mould! Check it out! 

Happiness Is....

Saturday, July 26, 2014
hanging with my mum....

Just a quickie, I really wanted to share this….

So I have taken myself away from the distractions of being a mother of 4 to really focus on the last section of my book. I'm completely absorbed and totally fried but just before I threw myself into bed last night, I had this memory jolt of the previous nights sleep (which was terrible mind you…) and remembered that my mum was in it. In the most bizarre of ways.
I'm not one for mumbo jumbo, in fact I am very opinionated about the after life etc but this was all just a bit too real to dismiss..

So, in my dream, I was tossing and turning in fact I'm sure I actually was in real time and suddenly my mum hopped in bed with me (perhaps she had felt that it would be a bit uncool to share the bed with the hubs up to this point so took advantage of me being alone…) I was in a sleeping bag and she was just lying next to me with no pillow or blanket and so she wrapped herself in the bed sheet and laid her head on a section of my pillow and then we slept, holding each other.
It was all completely normal at the time and I made sure that she was warm and comfortable but not for a second did it seem odd.  It felt right.

Now that I sit with this memory, I just cant help but think that as this quiet time away is completely based around the book that has come to life due to her and her only, there must be some kind of deep purpose to such a comforting occurrence as I rested.

I love when mum visits me in my dreams.  It is very rare and can often leaving me feeling a bit sad after I remember but it also brings some motherly reassurance that she is still there and very much so looking after me and guiding me proudly.

Ultimate Happiness is… seeing my mum again. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

Happiness is....

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
moving your toosh...

Sometimes I am at my happiest when I am exercising.  'Whaaaaaaaaaat?', I hear you say. Yep, truth! I admit that I do have a love/hate relationship with exercise, like most people but something that I have learned over the years is that if I don't take the time to care for myself, well I become someone that no-one dares to be around.....  And another guarantee with me is that if I have had a hiatus of sorts from getting the juices flowing, (hello Winter *insert 'flip the bird' emjoy*) then I usually fall to emotional pieces and feel very sorry for myself! Blame it on the weather, blame it on hormones.... Who knows! 

I am a firm believer in putting in what you want back and for me, I feel my best when I am fit and healthy. When I go through periods of feeling sluggish I really battle, both in mind and body.  I don't feel inspired, I lack confidence and my overall demeanor goes a little cray-cray.  So, I make sure that I keep on track and I regularly exercise. Rain, hail or shine...... (in-between mothering 4 active boys and working and cleaning and, and, and.........)

Often this is rather tricky with my little man in tow as he is very quickly bored so I make sure that I have tonnes of snacks, and bits and pieces to keep him happy. We have to sing along the way which is no easy task whilst pushing his 24kg bod up a hill but if I don't sing along, he gets most upset and that is just a whole other challenge. I tell myself as I taste blood, heaving up those hills, 'this too shall pass'.  I'm sure as the years go by I will look back fondly... maybe.  It could always be worse, yes?!
Oh and it's certainly ego boosting when I limp power walk past my neighbour who 'whoops' me from her balcony! Bless her!
When I (rarely) venture out on my own, I choose to run/walk.  Yesterday I risked my life as I was seriously almost run down (here's a tip for you drivers out there.....; don't text and reverse.. pleeease).  I have spoken about my running before and if you cant recall, basically I'm pretty crap at it. I try though and that's the main thing. I'm not sure if I will ever be one of those beautifully gliding runners who flit around effortlessly but hey, whatev's. I'm awesome at other stuff!

The pay offs of moving my toosh far outweigh the lack of desire to do so and therefore I remind myself that if I want to enjoy the odd beer, the frequent chocolate and the Salt & Vinegar chips, well I just have to keep moving. One cant have their cake and eat it all, unless of course they earned it!

You've gotta live yes?!

So, go move that toosh, it will make you soooooo happy!
*Especially next time you wrap your lips around that heavily buttered Brownie that your local Cafe bakes that is put right in front of your face as you go and order your once a week take-away coffee..... 

The day I stood in the rain, amongst doggy doo..... all for the love of my book!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
I have officially had my first little bit of media advertising for my book and in true fashion, I kept the experience very real indeed!

As a mum of four it is IMPOSSIBLE to pull anything off without a little stress right?!!

The journalist arrived, a lovely guy, and we had a nice chat about my book as I juggled my 2.5 year old boy Ollie who seriously upped the anti and did everything in his power to be the main focus of attention!  Imagine running around the bench, banging his head on said bench (tears..... oh there were plenty....), yelling (he LOVES to yell), climbing onto the table...... You can just imagine!!! What irritates me in these situations is that literally all morning he was divine, its as though a knock on the door just conjures up something in his psyche and he just about implodes!!!   For once ( and I'm sure I will only say it ONCE) I was grateful for 'The Wiggles' as he agreed to calmly sit and watch a new episode and allow me the chance to try and explain my book (without looking like a complete nut!).

Once the chat was over we ventured out into my back yard with the photographer. My eldest had been rather slack up to that point with his job of being resident dog poo-picker-upperer and we delicately tiptoed towards our chosen destination being very careful of not stepping on a potential land mine of the stinky variety! Mortified much.......? Yep!

Now, as I live in Victoria, the sun disappeared into the clouds and smack bang on camera clicking time, it began to rain! So, I sat, wedged between a couple of trees (nicest spot in the garden. Yes my husband is a very talented Landscaper but think along the lines of Plumbers homes having leaking taps and you get my vibe....... Bless him) holding a photo of my mother and I, trying my best to look 'nothing-ish' in terms of emotion. Also keeping a stern eye on Ollie who at this point had given up on 'The Wiggles' and started hovering, with a look of fierce determination, just missing the poo by millimeters!

Here's the result....

When I saw it I was a little embarrassed by the photo but when I go back over the effort to get this done, I think I did bloody well!

Anyway, all for a cause so important to me and I hope it spreads some awareness about my book!

Maybe the next media opportunity could be set in a 5- star resort with hair and make-up and while I'm dreaming, even somewhere like Fiji or Thailand would be nice......

Never Say Never.....
(well maybe in this case,  never is a realistic word but one can dream..)

Aaaaaaah Motherhood.  There's just nothing on earth quite as grounding is there...... x

Happiness is....

Sunday, July 6, 2014
Giving In....

I'm sick.  Smack bang in the middle of the school holidays I have gone and caught Laryngitis off god knows who (I actually could probably whittle it down to one of the many sickies at work that I dealt with last week who LITERALLY spluttered on me over and over again...) and I feel like poo! The worst part is that I have no voice.  If I push hard enough, a little squeak comes out, which mind you the whole family thinks is hooooolarious, but for me it is so frustrating!!  I have such a loud, active house during school holidays and at times I need to reign everyone in a bit and remind the boys just who is in fact boss. Well, try doing that with no voice!  It is simply impossible and yet fascinating...  My boys however, are loving it! Never have they had such a compliant mother who just nods or shakes her head (sometimes with more gusto than usual) and yet, I'm still finding that even without a voice, I am getting my point across... Perhaps I don't need to raise my voice as much as I do after all....

Maybe I have perfected the look..

I'm not fighting this virus though. I am simply way too exhausted to even try and, so, I have given in.  I am calling every day 'soft pant day' (a term that I learned from the lovely Mrs Woog) and if visitors swing by, then they have to accept that we are all mostly going to be in our pj's (of course they are welcome to stay in theirs too..) and I am making the absolute most out of not having to rush about. It is wonderfully indulgent! I might just start getting used to it!!  *if only a magical fairy kept the house running.... then it would be pure gold!

This extra time that I have gained, that usually is filled with errands and housework has led me to conjure up a family adventure for next year and I am keeping very busy researching costs and destinations and I'm bloody excited! So, there, even in the midst of feeling like a cold, wet homeless dog who has been run over and is scraping it's neck along a gravelly road (realistic description..!?) I have managed to acknowledge the positive outcome of being forced to slow down.

Happiness is taking life sloooooooow..... (sometimes)

How are your school holidays going? Are you feeling better than me?
I seriously hope so!

My Book.... I'm beyond excited!!

Friday, June 27, 2014
Hellooooooo my darlings, how are you?

I'm fab! So flat out but great!  Its late but I thought that I would write a quick update on my book. I would hate for anyone to think that I have given up on it, quite the opposite really! Its coming along so well and is becoming something SOOOOO amazing, I just know that those who read it will gain something from it and that is what my goal has been all along. I'm so exhausted, my left eye constantly twitches and I have the most hideous black bags under my eyes, the type that are seriously a challenge to conceal but in the end it will be all so worth it!  
My current focus is on the section of wisdom from Mums and as I hoped, it is developing into the most divine, supportive collection of beautiful wise words. Its coming from REAL mums and that's what I love about it. There is no judgement, just encouragement and warm hugs in the form of the written word. Just perfect!  I have been very lucky and have received some amazing wisdom from some celeb mums too, so that is indeed exciting. The list just keeps growing..... I'm just so grateful to all who have made the time to contribute (xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox).
So, whats my plan?
Well, I will re-draft the book for the billionth time, just to be sure and then, when I feel it is right (and its soooo close to being 'right'), it will be time to seriously try and secure an Agent.  I desperately want to share it with you all!! That is my hope so fingers crossed! (oh and if anyone reading this is/knows a Literary Agent, well, I would sure love to have a chat!)
I assume this to be a lengthy process. Writing and then Publishing a book takes so much time and thought (very rare to combine the two as a mum of 4) and I have come to realise it is certainly not something to rush! I have to be patient but when its out on the shelf, for others to enjoy and gain courage and support from, I will be just Oh, So, Happy! 
So, stay in touch and be patient with me and we will get there... I promise!
Much love to you all, I hope all is well in your worlds.

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