Thursday, December 29, 2011

Unspoken Family Rules

I love the little unspoken rules you fall into with family. In our house:

Whoever goes out to pick up McDonalds for dinner has the right to nibble on fries while driving home.

We take turns making breakfast in bed for each other every morning before the kids wake up.

If the toddler wakes in the night, husband goes. If the baby wakes, I go.

What unspoken rules do you have at your house?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winner: Cars 2 pack

Big thanks to everyone who entered to win the Cars 2 pack!





And the winner is...




Congratulations  Taing!

I'll be in touch :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All I want for Christmas is...



Sorry kids, this list is all for me! I'm sure Santa will bring them something nice, so I have these on my list:


ghd Scarlet Collection Set
ghd Scarlet Collection

32mm Modiva Professional Curling Iron
32mm Modiva Professional Curling Iron


Butterflies 18ml
ORLY  Butterflies nail polish

Floralia Dress from  Virtu


...and anything from this list too please - hey, a girl's got to try ;)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

16 movies I can't wait to watch with my kids



It's funny, on one hand I can't believe how fast my girls are growing up - just today I caught 2 yr old Sophie giving herself ballet lessons in the mirror, and 6 month old Georgia has this amazing belly laugh and would shake a rattle for hours if we let her :)

But I am impatient when it comes to watching movies together - they aren't old enough to sit through a 2hr movie with me so we don't have family movie nights at home or trips out to the movies - that's still a few years away. We have a short flick on for mandatory rest time each day now that Soph has given up napping, but after an hour or so she gets bored and wanders off to play (while I doze a little myself!)

So I have my list of 'must watch together' movies ready for when the time comes! Here are the movies I can't wait to watch with my girls:
  1. The Little Mermaid
  2. Tangled
  3. Toy Story 1, 2, and 3
  4. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  5. Finding Nemo
  6. The Princess Bride
  7. High School Musical
  8. Shrek and all of the other Shrek movies
  9. The Neverending Story
  10. Cars and Cars 2
  11. Mary Poppins
  12. Willow
  13. The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie
  14. Labyrinth
  15. Honey I shrunk the kids
  16. Aladdin 
Ok, I know I cheated by putting all sequels in together... but it's my blog, so I can ;) 

Now, if you like family movies as much as I do, you will LOVE the giveaway on Marissa writes a blog this week!

Comment below and tell me what your favourite family movie is and you could win a Cars 2 pack! I have 1 to give away :)


The pack includes:
  • Cars 2 Blu-ray and DVD
  • Invisible Pen with UV Light set
  • Cars 2 watch
  • Credit Card Sized USB Flash Drive
  • Mini Car toolkit
  • Spy Ear Phone
If you don't win, you can still have your own movie night with Cars 2 available to buy now.
You can find  Disney on fb here and Twitter here if you would like to follow them :)

Here's the fine print for the giveaway:
  • Make sure you leave me some way to get in touch with you (email, FB, Blog link, Twitter details, etc). You can email your info privately to me at marissaroberts@live.com.au if you like. If I have no way of getting in touch with you, your entry won't count, so don't forget!
  • I'll pick a winner from the comments section using random.org and announce it on the blog on Friday December 23, 2011 so you need to enter by midnight (Sydney time) on Thursday December 22, 2011. I'll also contact the winner directly using the contact method from their entry. Please note the prize can only be shipped within Australia.
Send me an email if you have any questions!



Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My very own pity party..

So, I'm stuck in bed with vertigo.

Ugh. It's boring and horrible at the same time. Horrible because I have a bit of a throw up phobia (ok, a HUGE phobia) and don't deal with with nausea. So every time I look up or down, or get up, or bend down, or try to pick up the baby or play with the toddler, everything spins and I feel awful, and then I get anxious about feeling awful which makes me feel worse.

But when I'm laying comfy in bed, not moving, I feel much better, almost completely normal. In which case it feels a little weird having the Husband doing everything for me (I don't miss hanging washing though). But I'm under strict instruction not to do anything.

Problem is not doing anything is b-o-r-i-n-g. So I'm risking computer time, and you guys get to enjoy my complaining! BTW I'm taking a few days off from Beautifully Organised until I get better, prefer to complain just on my personal blog ;)

Here are 5 things that are difficult to do while you have vertigo - consider it helpful advice in case you ever have it (and I truly hope you never do):

  1. Scrolling on your iPhone - yuck. But very hard to stay off it because I'm so bored! Trying to convince the Husband that an iPad would be better for my eyes ;)
  2. Washing your toes in the shower without leaning over or looking down. Awkward.
  3. Answering the phone if it's more than 1 metre away - you know that quick jump up you do to grab it when it rings (especially if the baby is asleep)? Don't do that while you have vertigo. 
  4. Walk through the house without tripping over stray toys on the floor. Can't look down so I don't see them, until I step on them. Luckily this has only happened once so far :)
  5. Bungee Jumping... just kidding. I couldn't think of a 5th one because I'm. So. Bored!
Well, if you're still here, thanks for sticking it out and reading through my whining and feeling sorry for myself.

Any ideas on (low risk) things I can do to keep me busy?



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winner: Busby Pure Tissue Oil

Big thanks to everyone who entered to win the Busby Pure Tissue Oil!



And the winner is...


Congratulations stayday!

I'll be in touch :)


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review and Giveawy: Busby Pure Tissue Oil



I've been using Busby Tissue Oil over the last few weeks in an effort to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks and rehydrate my skin.


I've got really sensitive skin - I burn after 10 mins in the sun, stretch marks show easily and just don't go away, and my skin gets really dry to the point where it can feel like paper :(

I enjoy trying lots of different lotions and creams to help this (I just like the whole pamper / day spa feeling!) but I haven't really tried oils before so I was pretty happy to give this one a go.

I've been using the product for around a month now. Here are my results:


Stretch Marks: Still there..Even though I have heard a lot of good things about this oil, I think I'll just have to accept that I'll never be in a bikini. Oh well. Heaps of other nice swimmers out there anyway ;) I have heard others have had amazing results though and you can find other reviews from Lucy here, Erin here and Monique here


Skin Hydration: This was a real winner for me. It worked straight away, my skin feels great. I thought using an oil for a moisturiser would be greasy and get all over my clothes but it absorbs really well, doesn't clog up my skin and has made a really big difference to how my skin feels - and it smells beautiful :)


Massage: I've used it as a massage oil on my neck and LOVE it. My neck is always out because I sleep on 2 pillows and any other oil I've used for this has left me with greasy hair - this one didn't at all.



If you'd like to try Busby Pure Tissue Oil for yourself you can buy it from pharmacies for $17.95 and I also have 3 to give away!

Just leave me a comment here on the blog to tell me what you would use it for and then 'like' the Busby Facebook page

Here's the fine print:
  • Make sure you leave me some way to get in touch with you (email, FB, Blog link, Twitter details, etc). You can email your info privately to me atmarissaroberts@live.com.au if you like. If I have no way of getting in touch with you, your entry won't count, so don't forget!
  • I'll pick a winner from the comments section using random.org and announce it on the blog on Monday December 5, 2011 so you need to enter by midnight (Sydney time) on Sunday December 4, 2011. I'll also contact the winner directly using the contact method from their entry. Please note the prize can only be shipped within Australia.
Send me an email if you have any questions!

** I received a complimentary sample of Busby Pure Tissue Oil to review. All opinions expressed are purely my own.


Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Winner of the Winnie the Pooh DVD Giveaway!

This week at Marissa writes a blog I've been running a give away for the very charming, all-new Winnie the Pooh DVD.


If you read this post you'll know I found the DVD very cute and would definitely recommend it if you need a bit of quiet time at home, your kids will like the story and I really think most adults will find it charming too :)


I'm sorry I'm a little late announcing the winner! Better not keep you in suspense any longer ;)


So, the winner of the DVD is:




Melanie from This Mummy Maze. Congratulations!

I'll organise for your prize to be sent to you, so keep an eye on your Twitter!

Thank you all for entering and supporting Marissa writes a blog. Another give away will be coming soon!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I miss nap time..

2yr old Sophie has now dropped her daytime nap.

I saw it coming, we have had over a month of "I'm not going to bed" and lots of singing and talking in her room when she is actually in there for a rest.

On the positive side, at least on Christmas Day I won't have to convince her to stop playing with all the other kids and have a rest :)

On the other hand... I miss nap time (sob)!

I've noticed that Soph will get a bit more cranky and clingy when she's tired and is less likely to just play, so I need some ideas on how to keep her busy but still relatively quiet and calm (or she'll get overtired).

Here are the ideas I have so far:
Books
Puzzles
Drawing
DVD
Craft
Helping me with housework (hanging washing etc)

Do you have any ideas I can try?



Monday, November 7, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Winnie the Pooh DVD

We have had this DVD on repeat in our house for the last couple of weeks:


It's very cute, I think I like it as much (maybe even a bit more) than Sophie!

I was surprised to find out it was an all new movie, as it has the charm of the Winnie the Pooh cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid. I think that's what appeals to me most about it, as these days most kids shows are have computer generated animation that looks a little creepy before you get used to it ;)

My favourite parts? The bit at the beginning when pooh's tummy is hungry and takes on a life of it's own, and the song about the "Backsoon" - Owl cracks me up ;)


Winnie the Pooh is available from October 5 on Blu-Ray and DVD and I'd highly recommend it as a Christmas Present!


I also have a copy to give away - and very easy to enter this one! Just 'like' Marissa writes a blog on Facebook and leave me a comment here on the blog to tell me who you would watch this movie with and why :)



Here's the fine print:
  • Make sure you leave me some way to get in touch with you (email, FB, Blog link, Twitter details, etc). You can email your info privately to me atmarissaroberts@live.com.au if you like. If I have no way of getting in touch with you, your entry won't count, so don't forget!

  • I'll pick a winner from the comments section using random.org and announce it here in the comments on Saturday November 12 , 2011 so you need to enter by midnight (Sydney time) on Friday November 11, 2011. I'll also contact the winner directly using the contact method from their entry. Please note the prize can only be shipped within Australia.
Send me an email if you have any questions!


** I received a complimentary DVD to review. All opinions expressed are purely my own.





Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Busy Mum Tips: How to make ironing easier

I like to iron. There - I said it ;)

I know there are millions of people out there that hate ironing and don't iron at all, and I have no problem with that. If you don't like to iron, you shouldn't do it. But I really like it!

Why would anyone enjoy ironing? I love the soothing, repetitive nature of it. The way I can switch on autopilot and just enjoy watching a favourite TV show or movie while I work my way through a basket. For me, in an ideal world, it's a way to de-stress.

But I don't always live in an ideal world. A lot of the time my world is fast paced - with 2 little girls to keep entertained, commitments every day and just general every day busy-ness to handle. I love my busy life and I handle it well - but it doesn't often leave me with a couple of hours available to get into the ironing. As a result, my ironing load really adds up! This is what it usually looks like:

and I had more in a basket a little to the right of this chair!

I used to have a list of things to do to make my ironing easier and try to make the most of the time I had available. It included:

  1. Fold washing as soon as it comes off the line to prevent extra creases
  2. Sort washing before you iron it based on how hot you need your iron to be (I did jeans first, then T shirts, then worked my way down to light knits and floaty, lightweight materials), to save time waiting to the iron to heat up / cool down
  3. Have an extra jug of water next to you so you don't have to keep going to the tap to fill up your iron
  4. Use an extension cord to give you the freedom to set your iron up in front of the tv - then you are more likely to keep at it for longer
  5. Empty the water out of your iron as soon as you finish using it to prevent rust marks next time you use it
These tips are designed to help streamline the actual ironing itself, but even these little things took quite a lot of time to do, so looking back I don't know if it really saved me any time at all..

Anyway, that doesn't matter now because I have this:


It's the Phillips Perfect Care and I. Love. It. 

I love it because when I use this I don't have to do ANY of the steps I have listed above.

Seriously. You put water in, turn it on, wait 2 minutes and then iron everything. That's it.

I iron in whatever order I want - flimsy tops, then jeans, then a knitted jumper, then placemats - whatever I pick up from my basket - I don't even bother to look at it.  

It runs with lots of steam so wrinkles come out with one swipe over the material - and it doesn't give you a face full of steam (I have no idea how, but I love it).

I can iron for 2 hours after filling it up with water one time.

The water is held in the plastic base, not the iron, so no rust issues.

It has a really long cord so no extension needed - and it all packs up easily and neatly in the unit.

Now here's the thing: It's RRP is $599. That's a lot of money for an iron. Without knowing how good this iron is, I can't say I would have paid that price for it.

That's why I'm doing such a long blog post today - because it's made such a difference to my ironing, and if you feel the same way about ironing as I do, you need to know how much this will change ironing for you. 

And I feel a little guilty saying that because, until I used this iron, I was fiercely loyal to my Morphy Richards one. 

Sorry Morphy. But I can't go back (He's still in my cupboard, even though I haven't used him for over a month. I can't throw him out but I barely even notice he's there any more).

Have a look here for more information on the Phillips Perfect Care - it explains the whole 'can iron anything on a high heat' thing even better and you can find out where to buy it. I even found a $100 cash back offer here.

One final thought to leave you on: I found myself with some extra free time available once I started using this iron - so I asked little Sophie for some ideas on how we could use our extra time together. Here are her top 3 ideas:

Take more naps
Have more picnics

Play the drums more

Ok maybe I just wanted to show you those photos - she's so cute :)


** I was given a complimentary Phillips Perfect Care for the purpose of this review. My opinion of this product is my own and is 100% honest.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Busy Mum tips: 4 ways to get your toddler to eat their dinner



You want me to EAT this corn?? AH-hahahah!

Do you have little ones that won't eat their dinner?

Are you getting sick of having the same battle over and over again?

Even good eaters can be fussy at times, and for us it was a little after our Sophie turned 2 (coincidence? I don't think so), when she started refusing to eat things she had no problem with before (especially salad and veggies!) 

So we got determined and came up with a plan to address it. These ideas worked really well for us, so I'm sharing them tonight with you!

4 ways to get your toddler to eat their dinner:

1. Give them a bit of control with the little things: Let the kids butter their own bread, dunk their chips (or veggies!) in sauce, or sprinkle their own parmesan cheese on top and they'll take more of an interest in eating their dinner because they helped get it ready.


with Fushia Floral napkin
2. Eat together at a nicely set table: Kids love to act like 'grown ups' so give them a chance to 'be grown up' at dinner time - set a place for them at your table with the rest of the family, and make an occasion out of it! You can even set the table together - we are currently dressing our table with these cute place mats from MYdrap - the colours are beautiful, they have great environmental benefits (reusable and biodegradable) and the kids can have fun ripping them off the roll with you! When we make dinner time special and include Sophie as if she's an adult, she takes her cue from watching us eat our dinner and eats hers the same way.

3. Set your expectations clearly and firmly with a low tone of voice: If you want your toddler to at least eat 2 mouthfuls of their veggies, let them know with no confusion: "Show Mum 2 bites of vegetables, please" and be polite, but non-negotiable on it. Then talk about something else with the rest of the family so it doesn't become an attention thing or a battle of wills. If your expectations are reasonable and you hold your ground politely but firmly, you will have a positive result, and each meal after this will get easier and easier. 

4. Praise them when they do eat well: Really show them how happy and proud you are! Kids, just like a lot of adults, respond well to praise and are eager for more. We give hi-fives in our house, and it cracks Sophie up :)


So if you've been having difficulties at dinner time, I really hope these ideas help!

Please share any tips you have, I would LOVE to know them - you can never have too many!


**I was given a complimentary sample of Mydrap to try - my opnions of this product are true and my own.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A BIG weekend!



This weekend the Husband wants to play golf.

I want to go to the Activate Expo.

We also have swimming lessons, a family catch up, regular housework and jobs to do and somewhere want to find time to just relax. But we only have 48 hours!

It's really important to us that we both follow our own interests - after all, these are the things that make the person you fell in love with who they are! 

So to fit it all in this weekend we are taking turns: I'll go to the Expo on Saturday after Soph's swimming lesson, and take as much time as I like. Husband will go to golf on Sunday for as long as he likes while I take the girls to my family catch up and gossip over tea and (hopefully!) cake.

The girls will have a ball because they get special time with each of us.

We will spend Saturday and Sunday night relaxing at home together having couple / family time.

And I'll be ditching my to do list.

.......

Ok I can't back that up, I love my To Do lists - but I'll keep it to 5 items or less, I swear!

What are you doing this weekend?

Where's Marissa?

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog, have you missed me?

Don't worry, I haven't been slacking off... I've been here.


It's my new blog, where I share hints, tips and stories on how to live a calm, organised lifestyle.

Organising is my biggest passion apart from my family and lately I have found myself writing more Busy Mum Tips than anything else. The thing is, I want to help everyone, not just busy mums, but busy people :)

So while I'll still be blogging the same amount, I'll be sharing the content across the 2 blogs.

Here, I'll be posting mainly my family and every day life stories, but to be honest I think you'll see a bit of a crossover here and there. I'll also be linking to each blog from the other when the content applies to both blogs.

I hope you will join me there!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Healthy Eating Review: five:am yoghurt


When I was asked to review five:am yoghurt it took me a while to decide to do it. The main reason is that Sophie loved yoghurt at 6 months but really hasn't had a taste for it since.

But I wanted to see if this brand would tempt her as the novelty ones (Nestle's Bob the Builder) didn't..

How did it go?

Well, no luck - Soph wouldn't eat it. I think she reason she gave was "I don't really like yoghurt". Don't take it personally five:am... her most popular phrase right now is "I don't really like...."

The husband and I, on the other hand, actually really liked it - especially the mango one. I would buy it in the future.

Here are 5 reasons I like five:am yoghurt -
  1. It's organic, which means it's free from synthetic fertilisers, hormones, antibiotics and chemical pesticides.
  2. I like the recipes they have on their website, like this middle eastern lamb and yoghurt stuffed eggplant
  3. The fruit ones are sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth but not overpowering
  4. They encourage you to reuse the pack and give you ideas on the website. We put dry pasta in ours and made maracas :)
  5. It's easy to find: You can buy it at Woolies in NSW. Normally I have no idea where to look for organic stuff, but this was right there in the yoghurt section. I just hope they stock it at Coles soon because I love their online shopping..
If you give it a try I would love to know what you think of it and how you reuse your container :) 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend Rewind and going solo at the movies


Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I'm linking up to Weekend Rewind by the very talented Multiple Mum at


The theme this week is to link a previous blog post that has not had any comments.

I'm linking an oldie from October 2009 - it has tips on how to enjoy going to the movies all by yourself.

To read some great blasts from the past from everyone else, click here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Busy Mum Tips: drying washing in wet weather

Wet weather in our house doesn't mean I can take a day off from the washing - although that would be lovely! But it does mean I can't use our outside washing line.

To tell the truth, I rarely use our outside clothesline anyway. We have a pretty big backyard so its hard to keep an eye on Soph running around while I'm pegging everything!

Instead, I need to be creative with our drying. Here's what we do at the moment:


  • Retractable clothesline in the Husband's Bar / Entertainment area: This works really well because it's covered and there's plenty of room.
  • Clotheshorse: I use this mainly to dry bibs and baby clothes, they're the 2 things I need to wash most often, even when it's raining.
  • Bathroom Drying Rack: This is really versatile, we use it to hang baby clothes to dry (on hangers, then I can put them straight into the wardrobe when dry), to dry wet washers overnight after bath time, and to hang up our bathmat to dry overnight:






It has a lot of hanging space but folds up so well, it was easy to install and blends in well with the bathroom wall.




It's so handy, it makes me love doing the washing! Ok, I can't back that up.

It makes me enjoy doing the washing a lot more than before on rainy days.. or when I'm feeling too lazy to go outside and hang it ;)

You can get these exclusively at Bunnings, so next time you are over there have a look at them. It's also handy to have if you live in a flat and don't have an outside line to dry on.

I did try to convince the Husband that we should get a pool now because this is a great place to hang wet swimmers and towels - they can just drip straight into the bath, not the floor.. It's a no on the pool for now, but I'll keep on him about it ;)

Where do you hang your washing when it rains?



** I received a complimentary Hills Somerton Drying Rack for the purpose of this review. My opinions are 100% honest and my own (so are the photos!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to ditch the TV guilt

Have you ever felt mother guilt over letting your kids watch tv?

I have. In fact, I go back and forth on it in my mind on a daily basis. Which is strange, because to be honest, I don't mind if my friends let their kids watch TV. I don't really even notice. I'd probably find it strange if they didn't let their kids watch it! So why am I wasting my time feeling guilty?

This week, I decided to make the most of TV watching in our house instead of stressing about it, and it was a lovely, relaxed, fun week.

Here's what I did to get rid of the TV guilt: Used it for inspiration.

My daughter is currently obsessed with the show The Fairies. We have it on DVD and she watches it every day.

So this week, we've done some "Fairy craft":


Made "Fairy Photos":


Created our own "Fairy ring" to dance around:


Drawn home made colouring pages (which I then scanned and saved to save drawing them again next time):


And painted pictures using the Fairy colours (pink and purple):



We used things we already owned to do all of this so I didn't have to worry about finding the $ to pay for it all. I was actually a little surprised at how much we ended up doing!

I got 2 HUGE benefits from doing these activites this week: I had FUN with my daughter and still had time to get stuff done around the house: These activities were quick to set up, took between 10 - 20 minutes and then Soph played with them all afternoon while I went back to work. And I wasn't just passing the time doing them with her, I really loved it, especially when I saw how creative she was and how much she used her imagination :)

If she hadn't seen the show, I wouldn't have thought of any of these ideas. So to me, TV isn't bad anymore.

I'd love to know how TV watching influences your household - do your kids watch TV? How much? What do they watch? How do you feel about it?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: Smith's Chips with less saturated fat


Chips are always going to be a 'sometimes' food for my kids - I try really hard to give them a healthy balanced diet.

That said, they are allowed (well, Sophie is - Georgie is only 2 months old) a treat twice a week - usually at their Grandparents' house :)

Treats for me mean things out of a packet - biscuits, cake, chocolate, chips, crackers, etc.

I was really happy to hear that Smith's have switched to sunflower oil as a healthier option. I tried them a couple of weeks ago and they tasted exactly the same to me - still crunchy, still the same nice flavour. I'll be more likely to pick them as the brand I buy when we have parties.

Here are a couple of things I didn't know about Smith's chips but was happy to find out:

  • One serve (27g) of the new Smith’s chips contains less than 0.9g of saturated fat (compared to 4.2g from chips cooked in 100% palmolein oil - the stuff they used before). That seems like a big difference to me..
  • Smith’s has also committed to reduce salt content by 25% across its product range by 2012. This is a big deal to me, as I am shocked at how high the salt content is in a lot of foods that kids aged 2 and under consume. Even in breakfast cereal and bread. And I can't find any Australian guidelines for how much salt kids can safely consume per day. That worries me.
Even with these changes, chips will still be a 'sometimes' food for my kids. But I feel a lot better on the days they have them now, and happy to buy Smith's.


I should point out that even though I'm strict with Sophie's diet, I am way too laid back with mine, and I think nothing of eating treats every day myself - usually when the girls are asleep. I know it's hypocritical and I'd love to be healthier myself to set a better example, but I just can't seem to get myself on track! Is anyone else like this, or is it just me?

**I was sent some complimentary packets of new Smith's chips for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% true.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Busy Mum Tips: 5 NEW ideas to help you cope with your brand new baby





Let's say you are about to have a baby. Or you have just had a baby. Or you know someone who has or will have a baby soon.

Here's some new advice that may help you out over the coming weeks and months of sleep deprived
busyness I call motherhood):

5 things to do to make life with a newborn easier:

1. When someone offers to help out, have a (small) To Do List ready: Sounds bossy, I know - but I've found that when someone offers to help, they really want to do something that makes your day a bit easier. So have a list ready with just the 3 main things you need to get done, and when someone offers, ask if they can help you with it (they can do it with you, for you, or hold the baby while you do it - whatever you are both comfortable with).

2. Schedule time to have a shower: Seriously. If you don't have a regular time put aside for you everyday, the time will fly, the day will be over and you'll be showering at 3am, or not at all. Work out a time with your partner or a friend / relative and let them have baby bonding time while you have a good long hot shower and feel like a person again :)

3. Cope with the workload by acknowledging motherhood is a job: Have a start time, finish time, and scheduled breaks each day. Write a standard list of things that need to be done every day, and prioritise it. Yes, you need to work it around the baby. Yes, some days it will all go pear shaped. That's ok. Having a basic structure helps you cope better in the long run, especially when you are sleep deprived and need to run on autopilot. That said, you still need time off so...

4. Book in occasional lazy days: With absolute minimum work. Just do enough to keep you all safe and happy. Stay home, in your pyjamas if you want. Watch TV. Nap. Have takeaway for dinner. And don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it - you work hard, you deserve some time off. But book it into your calendar, or you'll never do it.

5. Share the overnight workload with your partner: Overnight feeds are rough. And when you do them by yourself, they're lonely (even with a gorgeous, cuddly baby to keep you company). Regardless of who goes out to do paid work and who stays home, you both work hard all day. If you are both waking up at 6am and both going to bed at 11pm, you are both 'working' the same hours. So is it really that unreasonable to expect to share the workload overnight? Can you take turns waking to feed the baby? Or can you both get up and keep each other company? Or can one of you feed the baby while the other washes the dinner dishes that you were just too tired to do earlier?

That's my top 5 - I'd love to know what you think of them. What tips do you have for coping with a new baby?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Product Review: Yankee Candles and how to have the perfect bath time

A couple of weeks ago, after a few full on days, I decided to make Sunday afternoon all about me.

I drew a bubble bath, got out my bath caddy and filled it with wine, chocolate, the latest copy of Madison magazine and a gorgeous Shea Butter and Cedarwood candle from the Aromatherapy Spa Collection at Yankee Candle. SB & C is their stress relief blend and I needed it.

Look how pretty..


 
Except the caddy didn't really work... the magazine was way too close to the candle flame, I kept bumping my knee on the wine glass and my chocolate started to get soggy ;)

So I ditched the caddy, and set it all out like this instead:

Candle on the edge of the bath
 

my daughter's pink bathroom stool

Magazine on my towel on the toilet lid

Bath Caddy on the floor (ditched)
 
... and it was still the perfect bath. An hour later I was majorly stress relieved and ready to face the Wiggles again ;)
 
PS Yankee Candle also has a lovely Lavendar, Ylang-Ylang and Geranium candle that I loved just as much. You can have a closer look at them here, and here's the link to my all time favourite candle style from their website :)
 
** I received some complimentary Yankee Candle samples for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are purely my own.
 

Friday, August 5, 2011

DVD Review: Downton Abbey



I missed this show on tv but everyone on Twitter was going crazy about it!

So when I got my hands on the DVD, I was very excited :)

I received just the first 3 episodes to review but I'm definitely getting the whole series to keep now - I was hooked within the first 5 minutes, and that hasn't happened to me since Grey's Anatomy..

I love seeing how people lived in other times, and watching how things worked back in 1912 was really interesting. I won't give away the story lines here but they are great and you get a good look at the lives of the household staff as well as the aristocrat family (which I think is even more interesting) so you will be glued to the lounge for hours.

Make sure you have plenty of Maltesars ready with this one and access to lots of tea (or wine!), you'll be watching it from start to finish if the first 3 episodes are anything to go by.

Downton Abbey has just been released on DVD to own for RRP $39.95. It includes special features (deleted scenes, extra footage, commentary and a 'making of') and is well worth having at home for rainy days...

Just so you know though, it's definitely Downton Abbey, not Downtown Abbey - yes, I made that mistake!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Results of my "Tell me what you think" Poll

So the other day I asked..

"What would you like to see more of at Marissa writes a blog?"

Here are your responses:


Random real life stories: 46.15%
Busy Mum tips: 26.92%
Reviews with giveaways: 15.38%
Reviews without giveaways: 11.54%

I have to say it's lovely to hear that random real life stories and busy mum tips seem to be the favourite!

For those of you who love them - I'll still be doing reviews and giveaways. To be honest I love doing them as much as everything else.

But when I let you know these posts are up, I'll label them clearly as Reviews / Giveaways so you can decide whether to click through and read or not.

Thanks for your input and support everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tell me what you think?

I'm doing some thinking about which direction to take this blog in and I'd love your input, so..


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Mum / Mom song - a must see for mums! It will make your day

I saw this on You Tube today and loved it because IT"S SO TRUE...
Let me know if it makes you laugh too :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Best Dream EVER


Are you able to remember your dreams when you wake up?

I normally can't, unless it's a nightmare. Good dreams usually disappear as soon as I wake up in the morning, although there are times here and there when I have memory flashes about things I think happened in real life, but that turned out to have happened in a dream.

I did have a truly excellent dream a few years ago though, and to this day I remember it so clearly. It was the BEST. DREAM. EVER.

So I thought I'd share it with you!

Before I start I'd like to point out that at the time I was going through a slight obsession with George Clooney. Well, to be honest I still think he's a very 'talented' actor...

Oh, and I hadn't actually met my husband yet, so it's not even dream cheating ;)

Anyway, in my dream,  I took a month's holiday off work and went to the USA. One day I was coming out of the local Starbucks with my coffee and George bumps into me, spilling my coffee all over me. Awkward.
Luckily, he is very charming and offers to give me a lift back to my hotel so I can change.

I know what you're thinking at this point, and NO, he did not come up with me ;) 

But we did get talking, discovered we had a lot in common and agreed to meet again the next day for another coffee.

Long story short, over the month I was in the US, we fell in love (of course) and decided to spend the rest of our lives together. I would live in the USA with George (I think this was before he moved to Italy. Not that it matters. It's not real...).

Now I am a very dedicated worker, so I told George that before we made things official, I needed to travel back to Australia and let my work now that I would be leaving and why.

So I catch a plane back to Aus, walk into the call centre I worked at, and told my Team Leader that George Clooney and I had fallen in love, and I was hereby handing in my resignation in order to go live with him overseas.

And now for my favourite part of the dream....

My Team Leader says "I know!" and holds up a copy of NW magazine with a picture of George and I on the front cover!

Like I said, Best Dream Ever :)

Now, I want to hear all about your best dream ever! Please leave me a comment below telling me all about your dream. If you haven't got one to share, hey, make one up - I won't be able to tell, and you never know, it just might come true...

Oh before I go I just want to clarify that I did not name baby Georgia after GC. I swear. It's a huge coincidence!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Giveaway: Kmart $100 gift card



So we've made it halfway through the year!

I don't know about you but our family has been flat out these last 6 months. So far we have navigated our way through:
  • about 15 birthdays (most in January)
  • Easter
  • bathroom renovations
  • weekly swimming lessons
  • bringing a new baby home
 plus heaps of other stuff that I can barely even remember!

We still have to get through:
  • more birthdays
  • our anniversary
  • finding a new oven for our kitchen
  • Christmas
  • New Year's 
and probably a few other things I've forgotten as well!
 
We are a bit behind on organising for the next 6 months thanks to the arrival of baby Georgia. She's totally worth it of course :) I've normally started preparing for Christmas by now (it's not as crazy as it sounds - only (??) weeks to go...), but I've barely thought about it yet.
 
I even missed the Kmart toy catalogue this year but heard lots of people did their shopping there in order to get Christmas present buying done early!
 
I think that deserves a reward. So with that in mind, I have a message from Kmart for you!
 
With the kid’s present cupboard now fully stocked thanks to the 2011 Kmart Toy catalogue, how about a little treat for mum? For the chance to win a $100 Kmart gift card, tell us in 25 words or less ‘How would you spend $100 on YOURSELF at Kmart?’ From underwear to gardening and everything in between, Kmart is a one-stop-shop for the budget savy mum.

So, would you like to enter? If so, just leave your answer in the comment section below and don't forget to subscribe to this blog!

If you want some good competition karma, feel free to post the following message in your Facebook or Twitter status and let your friends and family know the prize is up for grabs!

Twitter: I've entered to win a $100 Kmart gift card thanks to @MarissaRoberts

Facebook: I've entered to win a $100 Kmart gift card thanks to @Marissa writes a blog


Here's the fine print:
  •    Make sure you leave me some way to get in touch with you (email, FB, Blog link, Twitter details, etc). You can email your info privately to me atmarissaroberts@live.com.au if you like. If I have no way of getting in touch with you, your entry won't count, so don't forget!
  •   
  •  I'll pick a winner from the comments section using random.org and announce it here in the comments on Friday July 22 , 2011 so you need to enter by midnight (Sydney time) on Thursday July 21, 2011. I'll also contact the winner directly using the contact method from their entry. Please note the prize can only be shipped within Australia.
 EDIT: Competition is now extended - get your entry in by 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday July 22, 2011!

Send me an email if you have any questions!

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