Monday, 14 April 2014

Working Mum Collides With Holidays For The Kids

I love holidays.

Ok, so rather a silly thing to write because I don't know one gal who does not love a holiday any time but
these holidays are rather different for myself. For the first time in a long time I am working.

I love my job but as it's school holiday time it's important to me that my kids have their school break and enjoy their time off. Having happy kids is a huge thing for me.
Lucky for me I do have a flexible job where I can do some work from home and my kids are welcome at my office now and then. However, the real issue with working while the kids are on holidays is not so much doing the work but rather the distraction.
You see while your kids are on holidays their minds are in major play and fun mode. My mind has to still be on work. These two can clash and that can make for a pretty stressful holiday rather then that relaxed time out.


Balance, tips, and strategy are needed. I am learning real fast how to keep the holidays fun for the kids while still achieving my work goals.

For me here is my survive the holiday guide:

1. Accept that the week may be a little messy. By this I mean throw working structure out the window and let fun, interruptions and needs be ok.

2. Explain. I do explain to my children the holiday situation - "I'm still at work and you guys are having a break from school". Upfront communication with your kids is always a win and let's everyone know exactly what is happening. I found my children responded really well with understanding give or take a few little reminders of "mummy has to work at the moment". It has made for happy kids rather then confused kids.

3. Food - I still pack the lunch box - life saving!!! I find it easier to keep packing my kids lunches in the morning so they have food on hand and I don't have to worry about making food and snacks every 5 minutes. I double the amount I would give them for a school lunch on the holidays as they tend to want to snack more away from the class room.

4. Plan. I pick several planned self play activities each day for my kids to do. These are different activities each day so those "I'm bored" whines stays well away." i.e play dough, lego, barbies, bike riding on the driveway, colouring in activities... These activities keep my kids happy for an hour or so and me happy so I can focus on some work for a solid chunk of time.

5. Sacrifice. There are still fun outings that need to be had. I have arranged play dates. Some where I can leave my children with very trusted family and friends for friend or cousin catch up plays while I go into the office and then there are times when I  take a break to do an outing or activity with my kids. It's not fair to just leave your kids with self activities all day. They need your attention as well.
This means that I spread my working hours over the day and night. So once tucked into little beds I do some of my work in the evening or early mornings while the house sleeps. Some sacrifice hurts none (ok except if it interrupts Downton Abbey :) ). Great activities don't have to be taxing either, keep it simple - bake some biscuits, nail polish on those fingers, blowing bubbles, jump on the trampoline, read a book or two together. Just keep that contact up.

6. Balance. Don't stress. It's just a couple of weeks where work and  home fun are just meeting up. Talk to your boss up front too, most are fairly understanding of family commitments when it comes to holidays. Take each day as it comes, stay calm, give lots of cuddles (seriously works wonders) and most of all breath and smile, breath and smile.

I am sure that there are  hundreds of  tips for working with kids on holidays so I would love to know what your top tips are?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

One Of Australia's Most Beautiful Wedding Locations - Wedding Stills

Over the last few months this has been my world. Today my stills are my world of weddings, a lovely sneek peak into how my weeks are spent in the work place.

I love weddings.

...Or rather I love sticky beaking at weddings - swoon, swoon, swoon.

Vintage and glam, modern and elegant, rustic and charming. Yes I do love weddings - magazines, websites, and blogs showing major wedding love. All styles, all sorts. Yum.

Imagine my surprise when a door opened a couple of months ago for myself to join an amazing team at one of Australia's most beautiful wedding locations. Yes, I have the job of showing off Gabbinbar Homestead. What a job it is. It is beautiful and I am really pleased to share it with you here on my site today.

Whether you are single, already married, engaged or so not ready for the "M" word never fear for I really don't know of any girl who does not go mushy at the knees with lots of awwww when it comes to peeking at beautiful weddings.
The dress, the ring, the location, the style and the fun celebration, yep you will love Gabbinbar Homestead, it has it all.
Gabbinbar is a destination wedding venue and we host the weddings of couples from all over Australia.
With exceptional service and attention to detail Gabbinbar Homestead really is leading the way and the most magnificent place to hold a wedding.

On a personal note I have been blown away over my first few months working here by witnessing (and yes now being apart of) the Gabbinbar team, a group of people that care, have very high standards and are filled with pure warmth. The team or rather the family feel team share with all who come to Gabbinbar the very best. Their mission is simple to make your day your very own stunning, exceptional, individual, special day. "What ever we can do." I am so proud.

You can follow Gabbinbar here on Instagram, here on Facebook and here on Pintrest because the word is out that Gabbinbar Homestead is the location for weddings.

A stunning, unique and special treasure for Australian weddings is in our big backyard. I would love you to help me get the word out to brides to be everywhere. Tweet, Facebook and Instagram #havefalleninlovewithgabbinbar

(Photo credits are: Meek Studios, Jarred Tyers, Salt Studios, Tara Lee, Leah Cruikshank Photography, Dan & Lucy.)

A special link in over at the Beetle Shack with Em's.

Thank you for having a sneak peek with me and there is more to come, I promise I will share more.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Cardigan Love, Perfect For Spring Time And Autumn plus the One That Must Oooze Love!

I love a cardi or light wear jumpers.

The weather is changing but whether Spring time or Autumn the sunshine is still subject to cooling breezes and chilled evenings as, depending on where you are in the world, the warmth fades or is slowly coming.

Cardigans and light wear jumpers are the perfect wardrobe style for this time of year. They keep you warm while not being too heavy and keep you in that Winter or Summer wardrobe before you need to change it up for the hot or cold weather to come.

My cardigan tips:

When in cardigan season I personally like to keep my other clothing style to plainer colours or rather no bright. Black, white, greys, dusty pink/mauve, sliver, gold and dark blues are my faves. We are talking jeans, pants, skirts, shirts.
Next, I add a neutral coloured cardi or jumper over the top and leave the pops of colour to my jewels, accessories and lipstick. Gold or silver glitter threads and studs cardigans/jumpers are perfect for me too as long as the main colour is one of the above.

Keeping your cardigans or jumpers to a more neutral, plain colours makes them so much more versatile in my book and you can pair them with just about anything. Of course if there is a "pow" colour you just can't resist go for it and keep your other clothing plain so the colour of the cardigan does all the "pow" talking.

I have one exception and that is that everyone needs a rainy day, stay at home even fall asleep in it cardigan or jumper. It must be supper snugly, soft and oversized. Colour, old, printed, holes from wear are all positive when it comes to this cardi/jumper. It must ooze love.

Image Map
I would love to know if you feel the cold or hot weather or are you immune to temperature?
Do you have a very loved jumper/cardi that you reach for at home?
Are you after a particular colour for the new season for your wardrobe?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

All That Is Beautiful Link Magazine March 2014 - The Best Blog Reads To Explore Right Here!

Image Map
My favourite blog reads for this month. Just click on the above mag what you want to read and your away.

I am just delighted to share that this months cover picture is by Naomi from Not Just A Mummy
Naomi is: Beautiful - Joyful - Inspiring
You can find her three articles in this months link magazine where we decided to show her off just a bit.

5 Natural Beauty Products Worth Writing About by Not Just A Mummy
Learning to Manage My Stress and Anxiety Levels by Not Just A Mummy
Dreams, Reality & Getting Stuck by Not Just A Mummy

Follow Naomi here on Instagram or here on Facebook.

The Amazing:
Inspiration, Beautiful thoughts, Personal, Truths and Fun:
The Power of Prayer by With Some Grace
Quietly Inspirational by About A Bugg T
The Reality - Strain and Effects on Bullying can do to your Emotions by A Dose Of Dannie 
That's Not My Name by Babble On City
Food and Cooking:
The Very Best Chocolate Fudge Sauce by Honey and Fizz
The Soup Diaries: Pea and Ham Soup by Little Bit Of Thyme
Coffee Meringue Biscuits by Vintage Movement
Home Beautiful, Style, Fashion and Beauty:
Parisian Chic by Shoppe Girl
Two Minute Sofa Make-Over by Miss Sew & So
All That Is Beautiful

And now for the Link Up
Add your blog and share a favourite recent post.  
This Link Mag and Link Up gets over 8000 hits a month so feel free to link in and tell your friends.
I love showing you off and sharing you with all.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Getting Naked And It's So Pretty & Yummy

I love cake and right now I love a naked cake.

Wave a piece of cake in front of me and I'm not going to resist - nope, there is no resistance there.
Lately I have noticed all these "naked cake" getting around. Yes the humble sponge or butter cake has bared all and put itself out there.

Gorgeous, oh so pretty and natural. I am loving a cake in the raw. Cakes across the globe are coming out in a big way - feel the liberation.

So this week my Miss 4 turned Miss 5 she asked for a pretty birthday cake. What a perfect opportunity to get naked. We went for a more humble and easy version of this latest cake craze.

Rainbow marbled coloured inside, vanilla bean and blueberry flavours with a layer of pink and a layer of white cream cheese icing.

Too easy to do, just leave the sides of your cake un-iced and let the inside layers of icing oozze out in pretty waves. Decorate the top of your cake with a simple swirl, flowers, sparkles or sprinkles and you have a very gorgeous liberated cake.

Getting naked with cake is beautiful.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Weekend Needs Chocolate Chunky Cookies Of Goodness.

I love a gooooood chocolate cookie.

Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle, dark chocolate chunks and then some almond flakes.

Oh you have me cookie.

Pour the coffee, grab a magazine, send the kids far far away (ok distract them with a DVD), make it rain if possible, then sit and indulge.

One of the most beautiful things in the world, yep world, is a good chocolate chip cookie.

Recipe for these babies.

All That is Beautiful Chocolate Chunky Cookies Of Goodness.

120g soft butter
splash of vanilla
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup of heaped brown sugar (heap it baby)
Dollop of peanut butter (optional)
1 cup plain flour
1tsp bi -carb
Good squirt lemon juice
Good dark chocolate chopped roughly (I used Lindt 70% cocoa)
Flaked almonds given a bit of a chop (can use other nuts - peanuts, pecans, macadamia)
Touch of water only if needed.

Place butter, sugar, vanilla and any peanut butter (if using) in a bowl and mix with electric beaters/mixer till creamy. Add in flour, bi-carb, lemon juice, chocolate and nuts and stir to form a "just moist" dough with spoon. Add a touch of water if dough feels a tad dry.
Roll into small balls and place on a biscuit try lined with baking paper. Cook in a 180 degree Celsius oven (160 degree Celsius if fan forced) for around 10 minutes or till crunchy and golden. 
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly to firm up.

Make coffee, pour coffee, drink coffee and be lost in the goodness of these cookies.

Do you have a favourite cookie?