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.


So...

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, 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.


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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!

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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
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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?


Friday, 7 February 2014

Bringing Cheer, Ambiance, Mood and The Beautiful Into The Room

SPONSORED POST

I love candles.

Seriously, there is something so very beautiful about a candle.
For myself, a candle can change the atmosphere of a room in an instant, bring a feeling of pleasure and usher in a beautiful moment of time.
I always have candles lit at my home.



Today I am doing my first sponsored post and it fits the nature of my blog perfectly and my lifestyle.

Air Wick has so very kindly asked my to try their gorgeous Black Edition Multicolour Candle and of course I said yes.
Yes to beautiful colour, elegance, luxury scent, and ambiance.
I say yes to beautiful scented candles.

So let's take the mood down a notch, change into something comfortable or romantic depending on your night, dim the house lights and light this Purple Blackberry Fig Black Edition Candle.

Perfect.


Yes it smells divine. Not overpowering yet the fragrance fills the room with a soft fruity burst of delicious cheer.
Yes the colour changes and it's so pretty. The design window elegantly changes through the colours of the rainbow and gently glows out into the room.
Yes I am in - you have me at Multicolour Black Edition.


Whether you are set for a night of relaxing, home alone, hosting a party, or going for a romantic night this candle works and brings a little magic - black elegant magic.
It is also just perfect for use in the daytime too adding a touch of pure lovely to your day.




Thank you Air Wick for letting me try your beautiful candle and letting me share it as one of 
the beautiful products I love.
Thank you to my readers for letting me share with you all a sponsored post of a beautiful product that will bring the beautiful into your home, office or personal space (I'm thinking around the bath tub for sure).

Do you have a favourite candle scent?
Are you a candle girl?


Monday, 3 February 2014

All That Is Beautiful Link Magazine Feb 2014 - The Best Reads Right Here

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Inspiration and fun:
30 Questions Every Startup And Entrepreneur Should Answer by The Story Of Telling
Frog Swallowing Revolution by Mrs Woog on The Hoopla
The Myth Of Motivation by Kelly Exeter on bw Big Words
Housework Is Bad For You by Musing Of The Misguided

Beautiful thoughts and personal truths to encourage:
Being Brave by Teacups Too
Hope by Accidentally Beautiful Life
Baking by This Brown Wren

Food and Cooking:
The Anxiety Of Food Intolerances by Take Charge Now
5 Simple Stratergies For Reducing Waste (And Saving Money) by The Happiest Home
Chocolate Waffles by Taste.com
Hot Milk Sponge Cake by One Perfect Bite
Breakfast In A Jar by A Little Bit Country

Family and fun for kids:
Discovery Box - Fill With Treasure by Be A Fun Mum
Sprinkle Sticks by Danya Banya
Valentine Pom Monsters by Create.Craft.Love

Home Beautiful, Style, Fashion and Beauty:
What to wear in the school yard by All That Is Beautiful

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