Thursday, November 1, 2012

My plans and goals for November

I'm going to relax a little on the debt front in November, pumping my all into the car took it's toll on us as a family, so I'll sit back and keep it simple this month.

I have a small financial goal


I have a couple of personal goals.

Financial Goal:
To pay off and finalise all the Christmas layby's.
To reintroduce sanity/spending money for hubby and I.

To re-jig the budget and allocate the extra money (what was the car payment) accordingly. We'll continue to live a thrifty lifestyle, but more relaxed then before.

Personal Goals:
To lose the 3kg that somehow attached itself to me (surely it wasn't all that yummy comfort food over winter...was it??)
To get back into my routine of early bed and wake up times (that went out the window with school holidays).

I've really got to cut down on the hot chips...or better yet stop eating them altogether.
A maximum of one can of coke a day (already doing)
Drink plenty of water (already doing)
I'll snack on fruit and have simple salad and cold meat sandwhiches for lunch and light meals for dinner. Breaky will be something healthy or a yummy smoothie. I did the above earlier in the year and I had great results.

 With going to bed earlier, I've just gotta be strict on myself, but it's a bit hard when I've got so many cool blogs to read :)

That's it! I'm keeping it simple this month.

What are your goals for November?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Finally the car is ours :)

As the title says, the car is all ours. We paid off our car in full this morning :)

We bought our car on 22nd October 2010 for $26064.48

One year later on the 22nd October 2011, the balance was $19058.49

Another year later on the 31st October 2012, the balance is $0!!!

It is such a great feeling to have paid the car off and have such a big debt out of the way. We also paid a credit card off in full this month too, so that's two debts down in October.

In September we paid off our computer, so in the past 2 months we have knocked out 3 debts and boy it feels good!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How we cope as a single income family Pt 2 - Budget and dollar stretching

In part two of the How we cope as a single income family series, I'd like to share the way we budget and the things we do, and don't do to stretch that dollar further.

This is how I do our budget in order:

1.Fixed payments
Any and all fixed payments, such as mortgage, rent, loans etc, is allocated first as this is most important.

2. Bill money
We add all our bills up for the year and divide by 52 (or 26 if you get paid fortnightly, 12 if you get paid monthly etc). We put that figure away each pay into a separate bills acct. This includes everything from phone bills - car registration.

3.Leftover money
Any and all leftover money is allocated between groceries, petrol, play/sanity money etc. We learn to be creative and live off what we have left over.

We find doing the budget this way means we never struggle to find bill money as it's always there, the mortgage is always paid as it's first on the list, and we don't spend ridiculous amounts on groceries and take away because the money just isn't there.

We find free or cheap entertainment for the family. It's amazing just how excited the kids get when we take them to the park and bring along a footy to kick around.

We're fortunate enough to live in a street with lots of kids around my kids ages, so they spend most of their afternoon playing with friends.

Things we do and don't do to save money
Live within your means
Allocate every single dollar - Rent/mortgage/board, bills, loans, credit cards, groceries, savings, play/pocket/sanity money or allowance.

Shop at Aldi
Cook from scratch - a great way to include the kids.
Get out of the habit of shopping because it's 'shopping day'. Look through your pantry, fridge and freezer and use what you've got on hand. Get creative.
Substitute ingredients.
Cook meals your family enjoy and will eat.
Water, cordial and milk are the main drinks - we don't give the kids juice cause Mr 2.5 gets a very upset tummy from drinking it, and to avoid any tantrums we don't let any of the kids have it.
Look around for good deals - We do most of our shop at Aldi, but our local green grocer is better priced with everything we buy except for grapes which are cheaper elsewhere.
I don't buy meat over $10/kg
I get the bulk buy rump steak and use for all stews, stirfries, pies etc, so no expensive diced beef
I use basic ingredients for seasoning's - good old salt and pepper, season all, garlic and paprika. I have more in there which I bought a while back but hardly use. I find I use it just to get rid of it, so that was a total waste of money.

Shopping - Clothing, Christmas/Birthdays, household
I buy on sale/clearance
We buy second hand
We happily accept second hand clothing off friends and family (we received a bag of stuff today, including a gorgeous faux leather jacket and some Ben 10 and Toy story clothes still in excellent condition)
We buy good quality furniture and appliances - We've bought cheap and found they didn't last long. We wasted money replacing with more cheap items. We're better off buying something built to last even if it means paying more (not always the case though).
I put a limit on birthday/christmas pressies
I buy things on clearance throughout the year and keep a gift box to store until needed. This way we've always got gifts on hand, so no last minute dash to the shops.
I take advantage of the layby service
I take advantage of the July toy sales
We don't buy pressies for everyone
We hold regular garage sales.

I use both cloth and disposable nappies.
Aldi nappies are great, even for night use.
Even before I switched to Aldi full time, I'd use cheaper brand nappies for day time, unless huggies was on a really good special, in that case I'd stock up.
I breastfed for 8.5 months with our 4th (not always possible, I couldn't do it for long with the other 3, my first lasted 5 days).
I reuse what we've got.
We didn't get the lastest and greatest. I did however waste a bucket load on the baby manchester coz it was just sooo cute :)

I walk as much as possible.
Hubby has a little run around for work which costs about $15 a week on fuel, where as his old car cost $50+ a week on fuel.
I only fill the family car up once a month - I have to make it last
I combine errands

I do the hair cuts
We don't smoke, and drink only occassionally
We have play money each which is used for whatever we want. If we want something big which is a personal want we have to save for it out of our own money

Energy Consumption
We run the dishwasher after 10pm - cheaper rates
I charge my phone when I use the laptop - saves power.
We have solar water and solar power.
We reuse boiled water from eggs/veggies on the garden
The kids are still young enough to bath together
I shower after 10pm
I chuck all washing in together, unless there is enough 'whites' or 'darks' etc to make a load. I know some people will not do this, but it works for us, I've never had a problem with colours running, coz I always hand wash brand new items first.
We barely watch TV, mainly coz we're too busy, but we don't want the kids being addicted to technology and not have an imagination (this was an issue, but since cutting back on screen time they have great imaginations).
We turn off lights, TV's etc when not in use.

I hope this can be useful to someone, as doing these little things has helped us greatly.
If you'd like to know more, feel free to comment or drop me a line on facebook. I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible :)

I am in no way a professional in this area, just a SAHM trying to stretch her hubby's hard earned cash as far as it will go :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How we cope as a single income family - Pt 1 - Our story

Please Note: I'll do this over a series of posts as I feel there is a need for a bit of background info, to help explain our situation.


I've been approached by a fair few people now, about how we cope financially on one income, pay off our debts and still live a fun life.

It's simple. I'd rather keep our hard earned dollars in our own pockets than in someone else's.


I grew up in a single income family of 6 in Sydney. Dad worked hard. He did the day shift when we were little, getting up at about 3am and not coming home til about 7:30pm, in which we were already in bed. So we never saw him. In the end, I would get up as soon as I heard him getting ready for work, just so I could spend a few minutes a day with him. As we got older, he switched to night shift. He slept all day and worked all night. Again, we hardly saw him.

My parent's had the usual debts - a mortgage, car loan, credit cards... putting 4 kids through school.. etc

We never went without, in fact when I look back we did quite well. Sure we didn't have everything brand name, but mum made sure she'd get a couple of brand name items for us so we weren't left out.

I did however, feel deprived of time with dad and as a family unit. It was mostly us kids and Mum.

Before I became a SAHM, I was working pretty much full time. Picking up as many (extra) shifts as I could and doing as much over time as I could. To me (and my husband who was also working as much as he could), we thought we were doing the right thing for our family in order to get ahead. But we weren't. We didn't have the right mindset. We were on an excellent combined income, so therefore we had a hideous spending habit, and an even more hideous (growing) debt.

When I was just 21 years old, and 32 weeks pregnant with our 2nd, we bought a fixer upper and within a year we had bought a bigger car, installed a new kitchen, bathroom, driveway, ripped up the carpets and stained the floorboards, installed ceiling fans in every room, ran power to the garage, got built ins, cladded the house, ripped out and replaced all the old windows and external doors, ripped out a wall and replaced with a sliding door, got a new lounge, bed and mattress, flat screen TV, installed another aircon unit... that's not including all the little improvements like painting etc... So in one year we WASTED over $90000 on the house. Did it improve the value of our home? Yep. Did we miss out on most of our 2nd child's first year? Yep! Am I happy with that?? Definitely not!! Did it stop there? Sadly no. We went on to waste over $4300 on a 7 pc dining set, coffee table and TV unit... why? Cause I fell in love with it. Do I regret buying it? No. Do I regret spending that much? Yes!! I can't believe we spent that much!

So why did we spend that much? Because we lived above and beyond our means.We thought we earned enough to support the lifestyle we wanted. We were young, dumb and had too much disposable income which should've been put on the mortgage. But we didn't and now we are paying for it. Literally!

Have we always been this way?

No! When I was 15, I really wanted my own computer in my room so I could surf the net and chat to friends without having to limit time due to siblings wanting to use the computer too. When I got my first job, I sat down with my payslip and a computer catalogue and worked out how much I'd have to work to be able to save up for a computer. I didn't end up getting the computer because I was given an old one :D.. I have no idea what I ended up spending my money on... probably clothes and bags...

As soon as I was 18 and employed, my boyfriend (now hubby) and I moved into a unit (literally across the street from my parents lol). I was always jotting down our incomings and outgoings and working extra debt payments into our "expenses" (I had no idea at this point that I was budgeting lol). We were never late with rent or bills, refused to get credit cards, saved up for things we wanted (except for a medical debt and a computer my husband bought -  he leased that). We furnished our little patch of heaven with pre loved goods from family, garage sales, ebay, second hand stores. We stayed there for about 6 months and then rented a cute little 3 bedder which we were going to buy but the owners wife was too greedy (the owner himself was willing to accept our offer). We had over $10000 saved and were still enjoying our credit card free life. It started going down hill from there. We sold our cars (cash not credit), bought shiny new ones (credit), bought a house and blew most of our savings.

A credit card came with the home loan even though we told the bank we didn't want one. I was going to cut it up, but mum told me to keep it 'for emergencies'. I understand what mum was saying, but I should've gone with my gut and cut it up. We had some money saved, enough to cover an emergency, but I still kept it... and unfortunately the spending started. Hence the debt.

We went from no credit cards to two of those interest free things and one mutual credit card.

I believe you have to have the right mindset to use your money wisely.

It's easy for anyone to say they want to save money and/or get out of debt, but without an action plan they won't get very far.

First, you need to work out what it is you want - save $5000 emergency fund? Save for a house deposit? Pay off debt?

Then work our exactly how much you owe, to who, and when it needs to be paid by.

If you have debt collectors chasing you for money, don't ignore letters/phone calls etc, let them know your situation, they are there to help. If you can afford to do so, give them a call and offer to pay 40% of the total amount owing up front and could they waive the rest of the debt.
We contacted a creditor and politely asked the above, they told us to send it in writing, we did and sure enough our offer was accepted. We saved ourselves $510 :)

Work out a payment plan to get those debts paid down/off.

There are many methods out there to pay down debt, such as Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball method, which is to pay off the smallest debt while maintaining minimum payments on everything else and build momentum to pay off each consecutive debt. Hence the snowball. I like his method. It's been working well for us.

Put the payment plan into place and see those debts disappear. It's so invigorating :)

Where are we now?

We upgraded our car in Oct 2010, but this time it was a need as we have 4 kids (well we had 3 kids at that point but I knew we would have the 4th soon :)). We've paid off all store credit cards (interest free), so we finally own all our contents (yippee :)). Hubby bought his little run around with cash, and we've almost paif off the family car. We paid credit for our flights to QLD, but I'm not too fussed over that, because spending a few dollars in interest vs what could possibly be a financial ruin if we move interstate and end up hating it, is definitely well worth it.

Are we happy with our situation?
Yes we are. We wished we hadn't spent so much on the house, and waste so much money over the years, but we're happy. We love our house. We love the fact we can comfortably afford to have a parent home and  still pay off debts.

We now have the right mindset to dig ourselves out of the hole, and get back in control of our finances. We can now recognise needs vs wants and enjoy life the way we want, not the way society says we should.

I enjoy living a thrifty lifestyle, and learning all the different ways to stretch the dollar that much further, or better yet, not parting with it at all. To some people, this may seem "tight". Yes I suppose it may be, with today's world of spending being the norm, but I really don't care what the "norm" is and what isn't, what I'm concerned about is my family and OUR financial situation.

Some older posts that may be of interest:
3 year plan
What do I want out of life?
Debt slashing

In my next post, I'll share how we do our budget, and what we do to stretch our hard earned dollar that little bit further.

Linking up with the lovely Jess @ Dairy of a SAHM for IBOT :)

What are your financial goals?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Frittata Recipe

Frittata Recipe

6 med potatoes
2 carrots grated
1 med onion chopped
3 rashers of bacon
2 cups baby spinach
8 eggs
1/2 cup thickened cream (I ran out of cream so I made a simple white sauce with milk, butter and plain flour)
1 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup parmesan or enough to sprinkle over the top

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 180 fan forced
Grease oven proof dish
Slice potatoes thinly and parboil 
Dice onion and bacon, heat oil in a non stick frying pan over medium heat and cook for about 3-4 mins or until onion is tender. Add carrots and spinach and cook until spinach is just wilted.
Place some of the potatoes in oven proof dish and add a layer of the onion mix, add more potatoes and onion mix. Repeat until finished.
Mix eggs and cream (or white sauce) in a bowl and gently pour over potatoes and onion mix. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 35 mins or until the egg mixture is cooked and top golden.

This recipe fed 2 adults and 4 kids dinner plus lunch the next day, but if a smaller amount is required the measurements can be tweaked :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spring Cleaning - Decluttering

In my last post which you can read here, I mentioned that I wouldn't do any decluttering during my spring cleaning, as I knew I wouldn't finish what I set out to do...

Well I couldn't do it... I ended up decluttering :)

I got rid of (or put things aside for garage sale and returning to rightful owner) 50 items yesterday.

Rubbish and Recycling
  • 1 x (empty) box from Missy's room
  • 1 x lolly bag from Missy's room
  • 1 x lonely Dora domino from Missy's room (the rest were lost long ago)
  • 2 x catalogues from kitchen
  • 2 x wrapping paper from main bedroom
  • 1 x lolly box
  • 1 x bear shaped eraser (It's been around since I was a kid)

  • 1 x toy turtle with hammer
  • 3 x handheld games
  • 1 x jumper
  • 1 x jacket
  • 3 shirts
  • 5 x singlets (day wear)
  • 1 x baby jacket
  • 1 x toy dog carrier
  • 1 x purple toy
  • 1 x tiger toy
  • 1 x toy guitar
  • 1 x kids toy cup (again the rest were lost long ago)
Garage Sale

  • 1 x 2 pc PJ set
  • 3 x sz 0 tops
  • 2 x glass serving trays
  • 1 x glass bowl
  • 2 x glass candle holders
  • 2 x small glass jugs
  • 1 x glass measuring cup
  • 1 x glass thing.. I have no idea what it is
  • 3 x nappy covers
  • 2 x 2pk newborn nappies
  • 2 x reusable nappies to cousin

I was going to donate it all, but seeing as though my mum is having a garage sale in a few weeks, and I need to raise funds for our possible move, I thought I may as well try and sell some things.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spring Cleaning - Zones

With spring finally arriving, it's time I started thinking about spring cleaning. Even with only one parent working outside the home, we've been struggling to keep up with the everyday basics, due to our busy lives. The house is starting to look a little neglected, and it's time to do something about it.

I've split my home into 4 zones, and I'll be working in one zone a week during September.

They are as follows:

Zone 1: Hallway (entryway) and  Lounge room
Zone 2: Kitchen and Laundry
Zone 3: Bedrooms 1 and 2
Zone 4: Bedroom 3 and Bathroom

  • Each zone will get a thorough clean and tidy, Which includes:

    General - All Rooms
    Dusting (inc. walls, fans, picture frames etc)
    Vacuuming (inc. behind/under furniture)
    Washing down of all hard surfaces (inc. walls, doors, windows etc)
    Clean switchplates and door knobs
    Clean Blinds

    General - All rooms
    Clean air con filter
    Wash bedding, inc. pillows and blankets.
    Air out Mattress
    Dust and wipe over lamp shade
    Deodorise carpet

    General - All rooms
    Scrub/steam clean grout
    Touch up grout
    Reseal grout
    Scrub taps
    Remove seat and scrub seat bolts
    Scrub bath
    Scrub toilet
    Scrub shower
    Mop floor

    General - All rooms
    Clean oven
    Clean microwave
    Clean out fridge and freezer
    Clean underneath fridge
    Vacuum and clean fridge coils
    Descale kettle
    Clean dishwasher
    Mop floor

    General - All rooms
    Clean air con filter
    Vac lounge
    Spot clean lounge
    Wash cushions and throws
    Mop floor

    General - All rooms
    Clean washing machine
    Clean Dryer
    Shine sink
    Mop floor
  • I haven't included jobs such as cleaning vanities, kitchen cupboards etc, as this is part of our weekly cleaning. 
  • I won't, or I should say I'll try not to declutter at this point, unless I finish that weeks zone early, otherwise I know I'll get distracted and end up not finishing what I set out to do.
  • I'll work little and often, instead of trying to do everything in one go and end up overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed and most probably give up. 
  • The zone cleaning needs to fit around our routine/schedule instead of us fitting around it. I still have appts to attend, make sure everyone is clothed, fed, clean, happy and well rested, aswell as keep up with my daily must do's. So there's a good chance I won't get it all done this month, but as long as I do what I can, I'm ok with that.
  • Most importantly I must remember to keep positive, smile, crank up the stereo and enjoy myself, after all a happy wife is a happy life :)
This was meant to be ready and posted by Saturday 1st Sept, but thanks to our crazy life its a few days late, so seeing as though it's Tuesday...

...I'm linking up with the lovely Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Baby Boy :)

Happy Birthday Baby Boy! I can't believe you're one already! This year has gone so fast!

As a newborn Bubs loved to be close to people. He loved to lay on ones chest and listen to their heart beating. He'd often fall asleep like that. He was definitely a mummy's boy and didn't like being away from mummy... Such a nice feeling, but makes it hard when I need to duck out and do some groceries (I don't trust the hubby to go, he'd come home with nothing but lollies and coffee :))

1 year later...

He hasn't really changed :) He still loves cuddles, he's still a mummy's boy, he doesn't like being away from me (slowly getting better thankfully)..

He has such a beautiful personality. He's so sweet and caring. I love when he's crawling around and he finds the person he's looking for, he'll crawl over to them and gently place his hand on their leg or whatever he can reach and look up at them.. he loves to touch and be near people :)

But on the flipside if you don't do what he wants he'll growl at you :)


Here's Bubba Boy's Birth Story :)
I'd been having issues with the pregnancy for a while, and the last few scans showed low fluid, small bub and a problem with the umbilical cord. Bub wasn't getting enough blood or oxygen, so probably why he was measuring small.
I was told to go to hospital on Friday 12th August to monitor bubs. His trace was good and he seemed happy in there, but his movements had lessened. The Dr didn't want to do anything til 38 weeks, but scheduled an appt with the specialist on Monday to go thru options.
Monday came, I was put on the trace. Bubs heart rate was really high, and his base rate was a lot higher then his normal heart rate. He barely moved, so they kept me on it for longer. He still barely moved, so the specialist decided delivery was the best option.
He checked me to see if my cervix was favourable, as it turned out, I had started dilating and effacing, but not enough, so he booked me in to have gel to help my cervix along. First dose being Wednesday night, followed by another dose Thursday morning, and then they'll break the waters.
I woke up Wed morning (17/08) with contractions roughly 6-7 mins apart, so I decided to go shopping and stock up on things for hubby and kids while I was in hospital. They were getting slightly stronger, but not really getting closer.
I didn't tell the Dr about the contractions when he asked. They seemed to be fading out anyway. Small irregular ones showed on the trace, but nothing impressive lol.
He applied the gel at 4.30, and kept me on the trace. Within minutes of the gel, good strong contractions started, but were still pretty irregular. Not long after that I had intense pressure in my butt and contractions came 2 mins apart. I was told to walk around to help speed it up. Some were a bit painful, but most of the time, the pain and pressure was in my butt/legs and no pain in my belly. Midwife said that is normal as long as the belly hardens when that happens, because, as it turned out, bub had decided to turn posterior (sunny side up). She got me to do all the exercises to get him to turn (bub number 1 was sunny side up and labour was long and hard). It took a few hrs to get him to turn.

I'd already been there about 6 hrs and asked the midwife when I'd be transferred to delivery or when they'd break my waters. She said they weren't gonna break my waters, they were waiting for them to break on their own.

They checked me and I was dilated about a 2, but bub decided not to descend :(

At about 12.30 I was transferred to delivery. They were still coming every 2 minutes and were wearing me out.

By 2am I had a shower to help ease, but midwife pulled me out to check me, and if bubs had dropped, she'd break my waters. Bubs was still high. I was at about 3-4 and she decided to stretch. I started passing clots, but apparantly thats normal. I decided to keep walking. They were still 2 mins apart but getting a little stronger, either that or I was just worn out lol.

4.30am she checked again. I was 6-7cm and decided she'd break the waters, but I had to push, while she pushed bub down, so there was no risk of cord prolapse.

by 5, the contractions were strong and i felt the urge to push, but wasn't quite ready yet. She said to wait about an hr and try pushing again.

Every contraction after that was getting stronger and more unbearable, and the urge to push was uncontrollable, but I held out as long as I could.

I have no idea what time it was (I'm guessing 6.30am), but I called for the midwife, bubs head was right there and with a few pushes he was out :) The last bit all happened so fast, I was scared hubby would miss it cause he was ASLEEP (nice to know someone got sleep lol). Thankfully he woke up in time.

I got to pull bubs out myself, which is the best feeling :) 

@ 6:35am
7lb 3oz and 45cm long :) 

We had some trouble after the birth, I had a post partum hemmorhage (sp?) due to an atonic uterus and retained placenta. My uterus wouldn't contract, so the placenta wouldn't expel. They almost prepped me for theatre but thankfully they got the bleeding under control.

That would have to be the scariest moment of my life. All I remember was the midwife yelling emergency emergency, people rushing in. I had no energy, I was shaking but apart from that I couldn't move, I remember thinking this is it, how is my husband gonna do it on his own. I don't know what happened after that but, I got the drip and a catheter and wasn't allowed to move for quite some time.

The next morning I passed a massive clot which had parts of the placenta still in it, and after that things greatly improved. 
I thought that since this was my 4th labour/birth, and with my middle boys being fast labours (#3 was 2.5 hours from first contraction to birth), that this time around would be similar. Boy was I wrong! His birth was the hardest of the lot. He was born at 36 weeks (like #3), so I'm guessing he was nowhere near ready to come out.

Linking up with the lovely Jess @ Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coping with 4 kids under 6 - How I survive the busy part of the day

In my last post in the 'Coping with 4 kids under 6' series, I wrote about a typical day in our house which you can find here.

In today's post, I will be sharing some things I do in order to survive the busy part of the day with the kids on my own. That is, dinner, bath and bed.

At this point in time, we have no extracurricular activities to attend, so our afternoons are pretty much the same.

Originally homework was done on a Monday (Hubby's day off), but they have increased the amount of homework and have worked it in a way so it has to be done on set days. For eg. Thursdays homework is to write a structured overview of their new guided reading book, but they don't get the new book til Thursdays, so it can't be done any earlier. So now we do what we can on a Monday and just do little bits throughout the week. This is still a working progress as the extra homework was only recently introduced.


  • I usually start dinner prep from 4:30 (depending what's on the menu, sometimes later) to have it on the table no later than 6.
  • I plan our dinners based on our days - busy day, easy meal. Hubby home, harder meal.
  • I sometimes bulk cook and freeze things like spaghetti bol and chili con carne.
  • Wednesday's are usually leftovers night, toast or something easy. This is the night Missy stays at Nanny's, and Hubby's work puts on a big feed, so I only need to cook for the boys and I.
  • The kids usually bath together
  • Sometimes I top and tail the lot of them.
  • I used to bath bubs every other night, but will be every night now that he's crawling around.
  • Sometimes I fill the kitchen sink and bath them in there one by one. I actually find this easier as I don't have 3 wet little bodies doing the noody run at once. They love it and have so much fun. It's also better for my back.
  • And some days if we're too tired they go to bed as is.
  • The 2 older boys share a room and are in bed by 7:30. 
  • Missy's bedtime is 8:30 
  • Bubs bedtime is usually between 8 and 8:30. 
  • They all get story time and cuddles before they go to bed.
  • They all help. Missy loves to set the table (decorations and all), Mr4 loves being in charge of the shoe rack and homeless shoes, Mr 2.5 'helps' unload the dishwasher and loves to take the clothes to the laundry.
  • They are responsible for their belongings and have to pack away their things before dinner, bath, bed or moving onto another activity.
What are your mummy tips? I'd love to hear them :)

Linking up with the lovely Jess at  Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

An empty void

Warning sad and confusing post ahead..

I'm feeling sad and down for no apparent reason. I feel like there's this emptiness deep down inside of me. I'm not sure where it's coming from or what it's about.

I've got so much to be grateful for, yet there's still an emptiness there. What is it? What's missing? I don't know if it's one thing or a mixture of things.

Am I just tired? Stressed? Depressed? All of the above?

We've had so much happen recently, perhaps it's taken it's toll on me? We've recently lost a good friend to cancer, I found out my brother was back on Heroin, My Pop has had surgery after surgery to remove skin cancers and on top of that he has leukaemia. My cousins house caught on fire which left him, his girlfriend and baby stranded, My good friends baby was in Intensive care, another friends baby was rushed to hospital (thankfully both bubs are ok), I've been told my son might have aspergers and ADHD (which will be checked in November), my youngest might need grommets as he's always getting ear infections, and issues with my daughter and school friends..

We've been constantly sick. I used to get a cold twice a year which lasted a week, this year it's never ending.

This moving interstate business is doing my head in. I wish I knew for sure what was happening. I feel this is holding my family back.We had everything planned out and now it's all on hold as we don't know where we'll be.

I haven't been feeling myself for about 2 weeks now, but it has peaked today. I found out a good friend is having a girl. I am so excited and happy for them both, but I can't help but feel a little sad. I so badly want another little girl. Yes I know I have a beautiful little girl that I love dearly and nothing will ever replace, but I missed out on so much of her ''babyhood'' due to working so much, I guess a want to experience it again.

I have a fair few friends and family members that have had babies or are having babies and all had girls except for one friend and myself. Everyone I know is having girls.

Don't get me wrong I love all my children, I'm so blessed to have them all! I love my boys as much as I love my girl! But why do I still have that empty feeling? I wish it would go away.

Maybe I'm missing my little girl. She started school this year and I wasn't exactly ready for her to go (she was though :)) and also she's at Nanny's again tonight. I miss her :(

This was really hard to write. I needed to get it off my chest. I don't feel I can tell my husband as he doesn't understand. He says he does but he doesn't. Hopefully I'll feel better having got this off my chest.

Have you got any thoughts or ideas on how I can get over this?
How I can fill this void?
Have you had any empty voids? How did you ''fill'' it?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I've been meaning to do a post for a while now, but the truth is since we've been planning our move, I haven't really had much else on mind...

I can't stop thinking about it. I wish I could though, I've changed my mind so many times that it's doing my head in. I was 110% for the move and was so happy and excited ignored all the what ifs and wanted to start fresh. All my family and friends were supportive except for one friend. She was almost in tears and very negative which in turn made me very upset to the point of tears and I got cold feet.

From that point on I've been yoyoing with my decision. After the phone call to the said friend, I sobbed to my husband who was sweet and understanding. We decided against the move and to just enjoy what we have. I mentioned to mum how we were feeling and she said ''Oh you better not be pulling out now." Pulling out now?? It's not as simple as that.. There's so much weighing on this decision and I feel like I need to impress everyone. If I go I'm upsetting people. If I don't go I'm upsetting people...

That isn't the concern though. The main concerns are:

  • What if we get there and we hate it?
  • What if we regret it?
  • Leaving a good paying job for a possible not so good paying job..or no job at all.
  • I don't want to sell my house but unsure about renting it out. Non paying tenants, trashing etc
They are the main concerns, there are so many more, but they aren't that big, just me thinking too much. 

I wish I hadn't mentioned it to said friend, I'd probably be up there already :D

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Woohooooooo Under $10k mark

As the heading states, we owe less than $10000 on our car loan :D

I'm so happy!! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The closer we get, the more eager I am to pay it off quicker.

Only a few short months to go and the car will be paid :)

I'm aiming to have it paid off by Christmas.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Liebster award

The lovely Lisa from Mummy's Undeserved Blessings has tagged me for a Liebster award :) I'm going to join in the fun :)

Here are the rules:
  1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.
  2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the person you tag.
  3. Choose 11 people & link them to your post. (They must have 200 followers or less)
  4. Tell them you have tagged them.
  5. Remember, no tag backs.

11 facts about me:
  1. I had carbonara for dinner
  2. I've had my belly button pierced twice
  3. I have never been overseas
  4. I have an L5S1 disc protrusion
  5. I want a Hummer
  6. I love summer
  7. I hate winter
  8. It'd be cool if mermaids were real
  9. I always order a large otropo meal from oporto
  10. I'm a sucker for kids movies
  11. I was chased by an emu as a kid :D
Lisa's questions for me:
  1. Do you have a regular holiday destination? If so, where? Queensland every year, location varies
  2. What is your dream holiday destination? Tahiti
  3. If you could have a super power, what would  it be? The ability to heal
  4. What is the last book you read? Fifi and the flowertots to my daughter
  5. Would you ever wear ugg boots in public? yep! Not the plan ones, mine have buckles and things on them.
  6. What colour is your handbag? which one? my most used ones are beige, and black and white
  7. How long have you been blogging for? about 16 months
  8. What food could you not live without? potatoes
  9. Is your hair colour real or dyed? real
  10. Apple or Andriod? apple, but android's just at good
  11. Favourite flower? Frangipani :)

Questions for my tagees:
  1. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  2. Did you eat breakfast today?
  3. Favourite TV show?
  4. Any siblings?
  5. Favourite childhood toy?
  6. Are you concerned about the environment?
  7. Are you a naturally organised person?
  8. What's the weirdest thing you've done?
  9. Are you competitive?
  10. Can you keep secrets?
  11. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Tag time!
All in good fun, but don't feel pressured into joining in, if you don't want to :) The blogs I would like to nominate are:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time for a change. Or is it?

We've been discussing for a while now, about moving to Queensland. We have many reasons for and against the move, most being for the move.

Mostly, we want to raise our kids in a better area and to have a better quality of life. We're from Sydney, born and raised and we don't feel we can do that here anymore (Sorry to all the Sydney lovers, personal opinion :)). A suburb about 12 minutes away is notorious for drive by shootings. The most recent one, closer to home, was only 7 minutes away.

I know crime is everywhere, but not everywhere is like that.

We used to really love our street. When we bought our house, half of the street were elderly, and the other half were young families. Everyone knew everyone, very friendly and safe, but unfortunately the elderly are slowly 'moving upstairs with the big man', and not so nice people are moving in.We no longer feel safe and comfortable, and after talking with a few 'original' neighbours, we found out we're not the only ones.

The main issues for staying are, work, family and friends. Hubby's in a good job with a decent wage and we don't want to throw that away (transfer not possible). My parents, brother and sister in law all want to move too, but that still leaves my sister, nephew, 2 of my brothers, grandparents and all my cousins, aunts and uncles - We all live within 20 minutes of each other. My In laws are 15 minutes away, and of course friends. I don't know if I could move my family away from all the people we care about.

I won't go into all the pro's and con's because I'll be here all night, but I'm really stuck with what we should do. Hubby's not really much help as he's 'not fussed either way' (his words) but he does feel the same about the above reasons. He did say that if he was guaranteed work that he'd love to move... either way he wants to move, local or not.

I'm really excited at the possibilty. I've been looking at houses, jobs, schools etc etc. I'm got a moving mentality, I don't want to buy or bring anything else into the house, I want a major cleanout - if I don't want to bring it with us, it's going. I've stopped thinking about what needs to be done around here in order to suit our growing family and strangely I'm a lot happier than I have been in a while.

And no, I'm not getting my hopes up, because there's a very high chance it won't happen, but it's still nice to dream :)

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm lost..

I don't know what to do with myself... the husband is out dirtbike riding with his mates, Miss 5 and Mr almost 4 are out with the in laws, Mr 2.5 and bubs are in bed...

I'm not used to having so much time on my hands..

The only time I get to sit down without interruptions is when they're in bed, and even then I've got one kid or another coming out with what ever excuse they can think of at that point in time.

So needless to say,

I'm loving it :)

But I am lost lol..

So, I'm ignoring the housework, and I'm going to sit down and rest.... ahhhh peace and quiet.. I'd almost forgotten what that was :D

Now if only I was here, that would really make my day :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Update on Odd jobs and Renovations (older post)

I need to make a start on my mega list of things to do around the house. I don't mean housework (I'd be here forever if I did :)), but odd jobs and maintenance.

I did a post last year about some odd jobs and renovations we'd like to get done around the house. You can read it here.
Here's some things that were listed in that post.

(This list was in number order)
  1. Paint architraves/door frames and doors. Started/almost finished.
  2. Screen Door - Ordered, deposit taken.
  3. Skip bin - We weren't going to get one but at the moment our whole yard looks like a building site.
  4. Blinds - Quotes done, couple more to go.
  5. Deck Roof - Started.
  6. Sand and stain deck - will do once roof is completed, will be the same colour stain.
(Other odd jobs and reno's that were in the post)
  • Repaint Hallway
  • Repaint Bathroom
  • Retaining Wall
  • Side Fence
  • Metal Lattice (to cover piers)
  • Front Fence/Sliding gate
  • Roller shutters
  • Re Seal Driveway
  • Side Gate (Driveway)
  • Pool - few years away yet
  • Extensions - few years away yet
13 months later, and how we've gone with the lists.
  1. Paint architraves/door frames and doors. Started/almost finished. 1 side of 1 door still needs painting, and still a fair bit to go with the architraves/door frames
  2. Screen Door - done
  3. Skip bin - done
  4. Blinds - done
  5. Deck Roof - Started. and that's as far as it got
  6. Sand and stain deck - not done

    • Repaint Hallway
    • Repaint Bathroom  done (but thinking of painting a different colour)
    • Retaining Wall done
    • Side Fence done
    • Metal Lattice (to cover piers)
    • Front Fence/Sliding gate done
    • Roller shutters
    • Re Seal Driveway
    • Side Gate (Driveway) done
    • Pool - few years away yet
    • Extensions - few years away yet (hopefully next year)

We've been thinking about paying someone to do the painting, as it's hard to find time with the kids still so young, and with hubby working so much. I'd rather do it myself to save the money, but time is a very important factor, and something we're lacking.

Metal Lattice (to cover piers)
We probably won't be getting the lattice, as we're thinking of closing in under the house. One part as a cubby house for the kids, the middle part as an outside toilet and sink, and the last part as a workshop/shed for hubby as we went to knock down the old garage (it's asbestos).

Roller Shutters
Still something we want to get done, but not just yet.

Reseal Driveway

When the weather warms up, we'll clean off the driveway with a high pressure cleaner and reseal the whole thing.


Something I'd get tomorrow if we could afford it... and had the space. Ideally, we need to knock down the garage to have it in a space where it would actually get some sun. I would love to be able to have it done by summer. The kids have been bringing it up a lot recently, so maybe just maybe we can get it done within 2 years.


We need more room. We're managing in this house, but it's very cramped. We want 1-2 more bedrooms (preferably two but depends if we decide to build up or out), I want a decent size laundry, my current one is a box. I can't even fit the drying rack in there. We'll get the ball rolling for this once the car loan is paid off. So probably early next year. I'm excited lol :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Enjoying the simple things.

I've been wanting to spend more quality time with my children, and let them experience being kids. We've been doing something special with the kids each day.

On Friday we took Missy to the movies to watch Ice Age 4. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, us or our daughter :)

On Saturday, we went to a 1st birthday party, where the kids had a blast with all the activities on offer. There was face painting, a jumping castle, a ball pit and slide, bubbles, a canvas of all the kids handprints and other games.

On Sunday, we took the kids to the park

I'm not to sure what he was doing...?

After the park, we walked down to Nanny's house as Missy was having a sleep over. We stayed there for about an hour. We walked the long way home and got some chips and burgers for dinner.

We unfortunately had a funeral to go to on Monday, but we spent Monday night watching movies with the kids.

Tuesday, we took the kids to our local club to watch Puss in Boots (for free! :)). We met up with some friends there. The kids had a blast watching the movie and hanging out with friends, having a 'picnic' on the dancefloor, dancing and rumbling.

We had a 'picnic' lunch at home after the show, and finished the night off with movies and popcorn.

I think Mummy and Daddy has been having as much fun as the kiddies :)

And this is how I found the little feller... time to lower the cot I think :)

Linking up with the lovely Jess from Diary of a SAHM

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 year plan

I'm a planner. I'm always planning things, setting goals, working out things and more often than not I do my head in lol.. if only this would actually help to keep me organised... but sadly it doesn't...

I'm not adding in little plans/goals, just the big ones.

Here's the plan -

  • Pay off car loan
  • Sell 2nd car and buy a ute
  • Have a small get away in Sept/Oct
  • Either a getaway to Queensland in January, or a muchly muchly desired holiday to Fiji in June/July (Or both would be even better :)).
  • Pay extra onto smaller mortgage (no rush to get it paid off)
  • (Possibly) Start plans for extension - ground floor or second story depending on costs and approval.
  • (Possibly) An attic conversion - again depending on costs and approval.
  • J Man (Mr almost 4) Off to school :(
  • Extensions done
  • Fiji - if not done (was original plan as it will be our 10 year ''dating'' anniversary in July 2014, and we wanted to do something special ).
  • Get a pool
  • Maybe Baby... :)
  • Mr 2.5 off to school :( (they grow up too fast)
  • Hubs 30th - got something big in mind :)
  • Carport
  • Maybe Baby - if we decided not to try in 2014 

We know things don't always go to plan, we originally planned to have 2 kids close in age, have a 5 yr gap, get a house and then have two more kids. Well that plan went out the window when Mr 2.5 surprised us :)

It'll be interesting to look back on in a few years time and see what we've accomplished.

What are your plans for the future?

Linking up with Jess @ Diary of a SAHM for IBOT

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sorting out our lives pt 2

In my last post, I mentioned how I wanted to look at different areas in our lives that needed work, and to focus on them. You can read it here.

While catching up on other blogs, I came across Organising Queen's blog. Her most recent post A life service is pretty much what I'm talking about.

This is from her post
Answer these questions honestly
How happy are you with the state of your health, family, home, career, friends, etc?
Are you at the point where you thought you'd be at this time of the year?
If not, be honest with yourself and say why or why not.
Are you making excuses for anything? (Remember You get to choose )
What do you need to let go of?

I'm going to answer these honestly...

How happy are you with the state of your health, family, home, career, friends, etc?
  • Health - 6/10 - needs a lot of work.. I'm always tired no matter how much sleep I get. I need to exercise more and not be so hard on myself.
  • Family - 7.5/10 -I love my family, they are the most important thing to me, but because I'm always tired, I don't feel I give as much as I can (yes I'm being hard on myself). I need to spend more quality time with the kids, I need to listen more, interact more, play more and stress less. I want more time for hubby and I, but it's hard, especially with him working so much, but we sneak cuddles and kisses where we can and talk a lot. My me time consists of falling on the lounge, pulling out the laptop, surfing the net for a little while and having a long hot shower at about 11pm. I want to get back into yoga, and simply have a chance to think and relax.
  • Home - 7/10 - The decluttering is definitely paying off, and I'm enjoying my house more and more, and I don't feel embarrassed anymore. There's still a lot of unfinished jobs, but when the budget allows, we'll get other people to do it, we'd rather spend our time together as a family.
  • Career 9/10 - I'm a SAHM (previously a work away from home mum) and even though I miss the money, Í'm so much happier and relaxed, therefore a better mum and wife. I take my job/role seriously and I'm really interested in learning as much as I can about home ec, to improve the lives of myself and my family.
  • Friends 6.5/10 - I really need to catch up with my friends more. I usually see friends once a week, and a weekend catch up once or twice a month, but playdates/catch ups are often being post poned due to both parties being too busy, too tired, or im my case, time restricted due to hubbys work hrs and school drop off/pick up. I'm using the school holidays to catch up with friends as I won't be so restricted.
I'm adding this one as it is mentioned in my last post and very important to us...
  • Finances 7/10 - I hate debt! But having said that, I'm pretty happy with our situation overall, as we're in our 20's, with 4 kids and our total debt including mortgage is less than the total debt of a few couples I know that are only years away from retirement.
Are you at the point where you thought you'd be at this time of the year?Yes I'm content with where we are.

If not, be honest with yourself and say why or why not.

Are you making excuses for anything?
I do need to spend more time with friends. I've gotta stop post poning.

What do you need to let go of?
Physical and Emotional clutter


Going by the answers, I need to work on interacting more with my kids, just ''being there'' isn't enough. I need to be kinder to myself, and I need to spend more time with my friends.

So how does one give more to be kinder to others, yet give less to be kinder to oneself?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sorting out our lives

With the new financial year fast approaching, I decided to look at not only our finances, but other areas of our lives that need some work. I'm using the new financial year as a clean slate.

Area's in which I want to work on are:
  • Debts
  • Kids quality time
  • Routines
  • Housework/organising/decluttering
  • Me time
  • Mummy, Daddy time
  • Family time
  • Friends
I'm going to sit down and work out ways in which I can improve on each of these areas. For eg. With Debts, I want to get the car loan under $10000 by the end of July (It's at $12400ish at the moment). Easy to say, but is it doable? I really hope so!

I will do another post once I've made a plan, but for now the best thing I can do for myself is to get some sleep :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dr's Visit and possible diagnosis...

I've been a little MIA the last few days, it seems that in such a short amount of time, a lot has happened.

My 70 year old neighbour had sugery to remove one of his lungs due to cancer, he had internal bleeding, got pneumonia and had a heart attack all within a week of the surgery. He's on life support, but as of yesterday he was showing signs of improvement, thankfully.

Sunday night, bub came down with a raised rash on his hands and feet which was spreading up his arm, I was so worried as my sister has recently had measles. I called the after hours Dr, and after what seemed like 1000 questions, he said it was possibly a allergic reaction or a viral infection, and to take him to the Dr in the morning.

I was going to the Dr anyway, as I needed to take Mr 2.5. It turns out both bub and I have chilblains, him on his hands and feet, and me on my toes. Thankfully that's all it was. Mr 2.5 on the other hand, possibly has ADHD and Asperger's. It didn't come as a surprise that he might have one or the other, but it was a shock to hear both. I need to take him to a pediatrician to find out for sure.

I'm nervous and worried naturally, but I'm prepared for the diagnosis, whatever it may be, as he'll get the help he needs and hopefully things will improve from here. I need to call the pediatrician back next week, as the aren't doing any bookings at the moment.. why I don't know, but I guess they have their reasons.

Have you had/know anyone that has had any experience with kids with ADHD and/or Asperger's? What should I/we expect? Any information will be greatly appreciated :)

Linking up with the lovely Jess @ Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Update on Missy's room

As you may know, we've been fixing up our daughter's room. Even though we did a major declutter last year, and with regular 'sort throughs', it needed a lot of work. You can find last years declutter post's here and here.

Here's a couple of pics of her room before we started on this journey last year.

Ok...yep...that's how her room looked... on a regular basis.

It never gets that bad anymore, we've decluttered to a point that it's controllable even when it's a mess. If that makes sense... :)

This is how it looks now. It's not completely finished. There's still holes in the wall that need filling and painting over, scribbles to clean off... But the main thing is her room is tidy and organised.

It's such a great feeling to look back on the pics from last year. 
We've gotten rid of so much stuff not only from her room but the whole house.

Here's what we do that helps with the toy clutter:

  • I often get the kids to pick toys to give to charity. 
  • If they double up on a toy, 1 needs to be passed on.
  • If an inside toy goes outside and they don't bring it back in/look after it, it goes.
  • If the toy box overflows, it's time for a clear out
  • If they don't use/play with it, it goes.
  • If it's broken/missing parts, it goes.
  • If family and friends ask what to get them, we'll suggest money towards something big (this year possibly a cubby house), get something that they're really interested in, or clothes.
  • We don't buy many toys for them throughout the year, toys are left for Birthdays/Christmas.

Before starting this journey, we did pretty much the opposite to the above. It definitely shows.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Family Outing - The Zoo

On Sunday, My husband was putting his dirtbike on the trailer. He was going for a ride to test it out after fixing it up. Our daughter got really upset and didn't want him to go because she wanted "her family of 6" to be together. This broke my heart. We've been focusing so much on other things recently, and this really showed with what she said. 

I didn't want to ask Hubby not to go as he's been so eager to go riding, but the bike has been out of action for months and he's been rebuilding it. So I suggested a family day out. Forget school, forget work, just focus on the family.

Here's our day :)

Missy and Mr almost 4 cracking up over I don't know what :)

Mr almost 4's favourite part of the day.

It climbed onto the log, toppled off and rolled onto its back, and he thought it was hilarious :)

Mummy's favourite part of the day :)

Mr 2.5's favourite part of the day :)

Well, the fountain and a random bird that kept on finding us but I didn't get a pic of it :)

Missy's absolute FAVOURITE part of the day :)
She loves ponies say no more.

Hubby's best friend :)

It wouldn't leave us alone so he had to keep shooing it away lol

Mr 2.5 telling it to go away :)

It stole his lunch lol

(this wasn't Mr 2.5's random bird)

Bubby :)

We had a great day and can't wait to do it again.

Missy has requested pony rides next.


Linking up to Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)