Technology Detox… Stay Off Your Phone, And Change Your Life

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Are you sitting in front of the couch watching tv, checking up on IG with your phone in your hand, and your iPad sitting in your lap, web searching? Are your kids begging for your attention while you scroll through your Facebook news feed keeping updated on celebrity lives? Are you having trouble falling asleep at night? Let’s go on a technology detox and change our lives…

So a group of us are out to dinner, at a beautiful chinese restaurant on a Friday night. Work and school are out for the week, everyone is in great spirits, afterall, the weekend has just begun. Only… everyone is looking down at their phones instead of actually having a conversation. So we started a new tradition… At the beginning of our night – all phones in the middle of the table and no one is allowed to touch them until we are done. Works wonders!! Everyone is talking, laughing and free from technology brain clutter.

Social media has a weird way of creating unwanted negative, judgemental acts. You see something that one your so-called friends posted, you talk about their post to everyone at the table, you all make unneccesary judgements on their post, and their personalities and lives. That’s not the type of conversation we all want to have at dinner with friends or family. If you eliminate social media, or technology all together, everyone seems to be able to discuss things, not people.

Tip #1: No phones allowed when out at restaurants. 

So i guess, if you find social media controlling your life and implanting negative thoughts into your mind, you should really think about controlling the amount of social media you allow yourself.

How much time do you spend on your phone, iPad, or computer? Do you sacrifice important time with your kids? Are your kids nagging you for attention while your eyes are stuck to the screen? This is a big one for me, hence why I am starting the 7-day detox. It’s not to say I don’t pay attention to my kids and give them adequate TLC but sometimes, when i’m working on the computer, or editing my photos and uploading onto Instagram, my kids are asking me to STOP! And its easier said than done.. sometimes you just can’t switch it off at that very moment. But it is important that when they do require your attention and want to show you something, you try turn it off and watch. They are not little forever, they grow up super super fast and we don’t want to miss it.

Tip #2: If your kids tell you to get off your phone – GET OFF YOUR PHONE.

Another big reason I want to start my techno-detox is because too much stimulation = lack of sleep. Do you ever find yourself struggling to sleep after watching a whole 3 seasons on Netflix? Or when you close your eyes and all you can see is the gems from bejewelled and the annoying sound of the game? That is a sure-fired way to know you have had a techno-overdose. Imagine how wonderful it would be, to lay down to sleep with a clear mind and fresh attitude.

Tip #3: Avoiding all technology at least one hour before bed is recommended for a better nights sleep. 

How many hours a day are you staring at your screen, waiting for notifications and checking your emails? So much research shows how too much technology is harmful. Get on the 7-day technology detox, listen to your kids when they want your attention, be around people who make you not want to look at your phone.

Live a beautifully balanced life…

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How To Beat The Morning Rush

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 3.27.36 pmAre hectic mornings creating a stressful start to your busy day? Find out how to ease the madness and get your kids dressed, fed and out the door stress-free.

How very lucky I am to only have Miss T at school, 2 days a week. This blessing will soon be coming to an end as she enters full time school next year. I love those mornings where I can wake up, and take my sweet sweet time to get up and start the day. While I only have two little people, our school day mornings are just as hectic as anyone else… that morning rush… only we’ve introduced a fantastic and interactive morning chart to help the little one’s organise their mornings without all the chaos.

Before we started using a visible chart for Miss T to follow, our mornings were crazy. I think my neighbours hated me… the sound of my annoying voice so early in the morning. Seriously, there is actually nothing worse than listening to an adult talk child-like in an angered voice. It all starts as my phone alarm goes RING!!! I get up, get myself ready and then make a first attempt at waking Miss T. Second attempt, third… Now i am dragging her from the bed to the lounge where she will continue to sleep. Did I mention that my 4 year old is, and has always been the best ever sleeper. She loves her sleep.

I would then wake Miss A, make her a bottle, get their clothes ready, make them breakfast and head over to the lounge area for  war to get them ready. T would still be sleeping, A would be climbing the walls (already). I dress them, brush their teeth, feed and groom them.. All while i shove something small down my throat, aka, eat breakfast.

Yes, I dressed, fed and brushed my 4 year olds teeth, only so it would actually get done. By this time of course, it is way past 8 o’clock and we are once again late for school. Off we go, get into the car. Oh hang on, the getting into the car part is also just as painful when you are already late, stressed and a little pissed off with these small children. This hectic start used to create such a negative vibe carried out throughout my day.

So I finally customised and printed out one of my great morning routine printables that I had been selling to other mothers in the same situation for quite some time.. Only thing I have to say is, why didn’t I do this earlier?

They are available for purchase here, for a great price of $5.00 which includes both a morning and bedtime chart. I printed mine through Officeworks and had it laminated for a total of $2.50. They can also be custom designed to include exactly what items you desire for an extra custom design fee. Convo me through Etsy for more info.childrensroutinelayout

Miss T is now able to take herself to the toilet, brush her own teeth and face, and dress and feed herself. We have the chart stuck onto the bathroom mirror for her to look at every morning and run through each of the steps. This not only eliminates so many extra steps in my morning, but it creates a sense of responsibility for her and is such a cute, and playful design that the kids love to take part.

Setting a routine in our mornings has created a calmer start to our day and in turn, a more positive, happier home.

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Where to next? Be a SUPER organized traveller and enjoy it so much more.

travelSo we’ve decided on our next destination.. It just so happens to be our previous destination which is so unlike us to revisit a place, especially so close in time but the last experience was so fantastic that we are back in Bali, Indonesia once again for the Christmas holiday period.

From way up north where I am based, Bali is only a 2 hour and 30 minute plane ride away. The temperatures are almost identical and the value for money there is unbelievable. You get so much more than any other destination within Australia for what you pay. Plus, there are the most stunning beach-side resort and private villas, not to mention the ridiculously well-priced massages and spa treatments. Yes i am so excited!

But even so, travelling to destinations that are closer to home, there is still so much planning that needs to go into every trip whether it is for 2 days, 10 days, or 6 weeks. Before every trip we take, I always print off one of my travel checklists which allows me write down everything I need to pack, purchase and get ready. I tick each item off as desired, and when the time come to jet off – i know i haven’t forgotten anything and can enjoy the ride.

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You can purchase our great travel checklist here and is available as an instant download file, for you to download and print without waiting. The download includes the option of both pastels colour scheme, or our bright and playful theme. We also love to custom design, so if there is specific categories you would like to see, this can be done!

Once we recover from Bali, we are planning on taking on Euro 2016. If there is something i love more than chocolate, it’s planning a 6 week long european adventure filled with millions of plane rides, gorgeous train trips and aegean sea boat rides. I can spend hours upon hours on trip advisor researching my destinations, hotels and resorts, and tips and tricks.

With such a large amount of travelling when you venture within europe, its important to have it all noted down in a cute, coordinating travel itinerary printable. We have one available in our store here. It’s completely editable. Once downloaded, you can enter all your travel details in the allocated fields, print it off and have it with your all the way through to the final trip.

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I love being so organised when travelling. It truly allows me to enjoy the moment with my family without worrying that i have forgotten something, or missed any important travel information. I find it super important to be organized as a travelling mummy.

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60 Ideas for Bored Kids

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  1. Bake something yummy.
  2. Play the mystery bag. Put an item in a bag, and give clues to your family and make them guess what’s inside.
  3. Visit the museum.
  4. Play catch in the backyard.
  5. Build an indoor tent or fort with couches and some bed sheets.
  6. Play Frisbee.
  7. Spend time at the library.
  8. Put on some music and dance.
  9. Play costume dress ups.
  10. Make homemade play dough.
  11. Make macaroni jewelry.
  12. Have a picnic lunch on the lawns.
  13. Put on funny clothes and have a photo shoot.
  14. Have a water balloon fight.
  15. Have a potato-sack race.
  16. Camp out in the backyard.
  17. Make up a secret handshake.
  18. Draw outside with chalk.
  19. Construct an obstacle course.
  20. Collect rocks and draw faces on them, creating characters.
  21. Play Twister.
  22. Host a tea party.
  23. Jump rope for 10 minutes.
  24. Make up a secret language.
  25. Construct a family tree.
  26. Play outside with bikes and scooters.
  27. Run through the sprinklers.
  28. Feed the pets.
  29. Write a letter to someone special (Grandma, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, your child’s favorite athlete, etc.) then mail it.
  30. Brush your pets fur.
  31. Go swimming.
  32. Help mum sort the washing into colours and blacks.
  33. Pick flowers from your own garden and create a flower arrangement for the dining room table.
  34. Practice cartwheels, somersaults and handstands in the backyard
  35. Tidy up your bedroom.
  36. Practice manners by pretending to go out to a fancy restaurant.
  37. Play an educational game on your iPad for 30 minutes.
  38. Help mum or dad wash the car.
  39. Draw a picture of your house from the outside.
  40. Squeeze fresh oranges to make juice.
  41. Go to the beach and collect beautiful shells to craft with.
  42. Lay in the yard and look at the clouds to find interesting shapes.
  43. Take a walk through the neighborhood and pick up litter.
  44. Help mum or dad cut the vegetables for dinner.
  45. Make fruit loop necklaces.
  46. Read books for 30 minutes.
  47. Put away all the toys in the playroom.
  48. Watch a movie with popcorn.
  49. Paint and create.
  50. Make milkshakes (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla).
  51. Do 10 minutes of stretching.
  52. Build a castle with building blocks.
  53. Look for butterflies outside and try to catch them.
  54. Ask mum if she needs help around the house.
  55. Brush your teeth.
  56. Take a walk around the block.
  57. Craft something from recyclables.
  58. Melt chocolate, and dip strawberries and bananas.
  59. Interview your grandma.
  60. Play I-spy.

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There’s nothing to do, no one to play with.. I’m BORED!

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 5.20.21 pmThis is the face of my 4 year old whining and crying, telling me that she is BORED. The moment that we have a spare 15 minutes at home in our ever-so-busy lives, she is at my feet sulking because she has nothing to do, no one to play with, and is bored.

I’m not even going to mention the oversized playroom she has, with over flowing buckets of toys, books, and activites. But this is just not enough. As well as the hours she spends daily playing, socialising, or swimming at her cousins houses. This is all just not enough.

We overstimute our children, making their lives so full of interesting things to do that when they are given time to just relax.. they don’t want it. So how do we overcome this pain in our neck (that is the sound of their tiny, annoying little voices in our ear while we have just sat down to enjoy a quiet cup of well earned coffee). Seriously, the moment I sit down to enjoy some “me” time, BAM! She is right there, next to me, looking at me with those eyes. And then the whine.. that whine.

To overcome this sense of boredom, you have to let them be BORED! Simple really. You must allow them time to actually be bored. Then when the painful sounds come out of their cute little mouths, you must listen.. and keep listening. You must weather the storm. Sooner or later, they will stop crying and eventually begin to find something to do.. or fall asleep. Hopefully the former, so they can actually learn to fill their boredom with activities of their choice without relying on you to complete this request.

IDEAS TO BEAT BOREDOM

Unfortunately though… my kid just falls asleep. Then when she wakes, she never really learnt any lesson and will resume sulking the moment she is bored again. So i was chatting with a dear friend on mine, well actually i was blatantly complaining to her, and she gave me a grand idea and I then decided to create an activity jar. Yep.. so what is this jar i speak of. Its basically your standard mason jar with craft paddle sticks that have activities written on them, for your children to choose from when they say they’re bored.  Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 5.27.12 pm

What you need
Standard Mason Jar or old food jar
Paddle Pop Sticks from your local dollar store
Sharpies of your colour choice
Bored, ungrateful children

How it works
Write down all your activities for your kids on each pop stick and stick it in the jar. Every time they tell you they’re bored, let them grab a stick and they must complete the task. You can put pretty much anything on them but I used mostly easy to do at home, inexpensive crafty ideas, along with a few outings, and of course the best of all – a few home chores they can complete.. huh! Serves them right for being bored.

You can view my list of 60 ideas for bored kids here.

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Additionally, you can download and print this cool printable to remind your kids that there are plenty of things to do in your spare time. Purchase this printable  from my Etsy store here.

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How wonderful is it to live beautifully.

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Hello world!

Hi… I’m Stefani.. Stef will do, that is what everyone around here calls me. I’m new to this whole blogging thing so.. well here we go.

I’m a 20-something year old, stay at home mum to two adorable little girls. Miss T is 4, and Miss A is my terrible, terrible 2 year old. I’m married to the most amazing man who feeds my need for the beautiful life.  Im a lover of all things beautiful. I want pretty. I love shiny. Gold is good. Pink is better. But i love all things b-e-a-utiful! Together, we have holes in our pockets, we live like kings and worry about it later. My life is beautiful and I want to share it all. So that is why i started my blog.. Well that and of course the fact that this whole  “Mum-Life” can be fucking hard! Yes I said it.. come on, you were thinking it.

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We all just want to relate. We want to know that what we are feeling, how we are acting, what we want and don’t want is perfectly normal.. I’d love to share my random, weird thoughts, and my hectic, sporadic days with the rest of the not so perfect mums out there who are just trying to feel somewhat normal, while caring for their children and keeping sane all at the same time

You know, us mums – the best life jugglers out there! So why not share the awkward stories, as well as the great ideas and awesome finds with fellow women out there. Plus, i am also one of those really awesome chicks who loves everything girlie, pink, shiny, sparkly, pretty and can explore the wonderful world of being a girl.. but I’m also a complete tomboy and loves to get my hands dirty (well mostly its my knees from all those slide tackles, and burpees). Yes i am a bit of a fitness fanatic. Really, I was born into the soccer life. My dad, my sisters, husband, uncles, cousins, granny, dog, bird, etc all soccer.. yep. And almost 2 years ago I was introduced to another fitness regime known as Crossfit.. scary at first, super fun.. you know, not being able to move for at least a week after your first ever 3 minute workout.. and the rest is history. You become totally addicted and make amazing friends who love fitness and promote healthy eating and lifestyle changes.

While my family and I love to make good choices with food and live a healthy lifestyle, we also LOVE a small piece of chocolate (or the whole slab) every now and then because seriously, life is all about the food. My husband totally thinks i am crazy because that is truly my life moto. But i am sure there are a few of you out there, or a lot, that understand exactly what i mean. Food is so good. I love food so much I even enjoy taking photos of food. Leading me to my obsession with posting amazing, glorious, adorable and interesting photographs on my IG account (see my Instagram account link to the right). I am a big photographer enthusiast. What i love more than photos, is editing my photos and enhancing the beautiful features. Which is why i thoroughly enjoy my current choice of work. While staying home with my beautiful, assholic (is this even a word?) children, I run an online Etsy shop selling all things printable including invitations, party printables and our ever so popular planners. You can view my shop here.

So I’m also a serious list writer (like, serious) so i thought it easiest for me to create a list of things about me, that you might like to know.

1. TScreen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.01.43 pmhis heart of mine was made to travel. Ahhh, bucket list is to see EVERYTHING!! I love love love, seeing new places. Rarely do i go back twice because honestly, there is not enough time in life to go back twice (except for paris, you gotta go back twice, or multiple times). I love seeing new destinations and i love to share my experiences with everyone.

2. I have Misophonia (well not clinically diagnosed but definitely self-diagnosed). Ok seriously.. this is serious. Literally, the hatred of sounds, where people have selective sound sensitivity that triggers a rage-like response to sounds like chewing, chomping, and slurping. Yes those soup dates for me are the worst. I just. can’t. do it. Ok so it causes people to just think i am plain old rude and intolerant but its not something i can control. its a serious condition..

3. I have a Behavioual Science degree. Before i became a mother, i studied for 4 years to become a clinical psychologist. Successful in my studies, i landed myself a job early on in my degree, so when i finished i would be able to begin working but, i fell pregnant with Miss T and that all went out the window, for now anyway (she is definitely worth it though).

4. I love to bake. Cakes, cookies, tarts, loafs, you name it. Best part about it – my two little ones love to do it with me. Miss T says she is going to be a baker when she is older.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.03.16 pmScreen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.03.52 pmScreen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.03.06 pm5. I met my husband at 15 years of age. It was young love and never looked back.

6. I am of full European heritage. So my mother in from a small town in Finland known as Tampere and my dad a small island in Greece, known as Kalymnos. So total opposites, but it truly does make me such a unique blend..

7. I’m super organised and have minor heart pains when things are not in place. Come on, you have to be organised when your a mum. Plus, it makes my job so much more fun when you are planning and designing things that you will put in place and use yourself.

8. I love anything that comes packaged in white boxes (yes i am an apple addict).

9. I get massages at least once a fortnight (ok, maybe its once a week). This is so important i think. Massages have so many great health benefits. Mostly, it is the greatest way to relax when you are super tense from such annoying, rowdy, sooky la la kids. Thanks to my amazing supportive hubby, i am able to sneak away often to de-stress.

10. I get frustrated really easily. Like, really really easily. Like, if the empty plastic tumbler slips out of my hands while i am unloading the dishwasher, and bounces on the ground.. i will without a doubt, be frustrated. And we all know anything chomping, food related will get me to that point in a millisecond. Cars.. on the road.. serious road rage.. ok fine. thats a little excessive but its truth. my husband tells me i have issues. i like to think i am just unique.

So thats me, everything you need to know, truthfully me. If you don’t like me yet, stick around.. you’ll love me soon enough.  It will be so much fun. Join me as i venture on, travelling the world and living this beautiful life.

So please, live beautifully with me.

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