Missing a Piece of the Puzzle {1 Word Challenge}

Best Friends for 18 years 
 Kerry (left), Charlene (middle) & Emma (right)
Best Friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. You will phone them up just to talk about nothing, or the most important things in your life. When you’re sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. They give the best hugs in the world! They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. In most cases they would take a bullet for you, because it would be too painful to watch you get hurt. 

That is exactly what these girls (pictured above) are to me. They truly are my BEST FRIENDS, the missing pieces to my puzzle of Friendship. We have been Best Friends since we were 14 years old. Almost eighteen years later and here we are - still best friends! We may not see each other very often, but we still consider ourselves besties! These girls are the sisters I never had (I have four brothers)...we have been there for each other through the good, the bad and the ugly. We have supported each other through losing loved ones, separation, break-ups, childbirth, becoming a mother, losing a mother...the list goes on. These girls are amazing! And I am so fortunate to have them in my life and call them my best friends! 

My  Our friend Kerry (pictured left) lives in London and is actually heading home tomorrow (*sad face*), however while she has been here (in New Zealand), we made sure we had plenty of catch ups, took lots of photos and reminiscing the good old days (as you do). Kerry has been away from home (New Zealand) for almost ten years, and the last time we saw her was in 2012. Seeing her again this Summer felt like she never even left. She is still the same bubbly girl that we all know and love! 

Earlier this week we had a BBQ & get together at Emma's place...Great company, talking about houses, businesses, work & children...It's funny how things change - eighteen years ago we would have been gossiping about 'who had a crush on who', the First XI Rugby team (te he he) and maybe organising a girly sleepover. 
Even though her visit was short and sweet, we have really enjoyed having Kerry home and filling that missing piece of the puzzle. 
Miss you lots, love ya more!

This post is a part of The 1 Word Blog Challenge

#TuesdayTen: Baby Essentials: 10 Things I Couldn't Live Without

As soon as you announce your pregnancy to friends and family, sometimes you are instantly swamped with a list of items you MUST HAVE - to get you through those first few months of having a newborn. It can be very overwhelming, especially if you are a first time mum. 

For me, I have a nine year gap between my two children, so it really did feel like I was a first time mum all over again. I remembered a few items that I used religiously when I had Miss B and then there are all the items that are now available, that weren't almost 10 years ago. It's amazing how things evolve over the years. 

So I have put together a list of the "Baby Essentials: 10 Things I Couldn't Live Without", for this weeks #TuesdayTen. These are the items that worked for me: items that I loved and would definitely use again, and items that I would recommend to my friends, family and now to YOU!

In no particular order...

1. Triangle pillow (or Three corner pillow)
A cheaper alternative to the Nursing pillows that are available. I did have a proper nursing pillow, but preferred the triangle one. I have always owned a triangle pillow, ever since I was little, so I bought another one (or two) to use when I had Master M - one for when I was breastfeeding and one for my back (optional but worth it).

I never swaddled Miss B, actually never heard of it until I became pregnant with baby #2.  I was given a few wraps for my baby shower that came in handy when Master M was a couple of months old (before this age, he hated being wrapped). He was wrapped/swaddled from about 6 weeks old and it was great! Some babies love being wrapped and some don't. But just in case, have some wraps or a Love to Dream Swaddle in the cupboard. From about 4 months (during Winter), I started using 'sleeping bags'. They are amazing, especially if you have a little one that likes to kick their blankets in the night - with the sleeping bags, they stay warm all night. Brilliant!

3. Cloth nappies
I am referring to the old school white cloth nappies. They are perfect for over the shoulder spills, used on the change mat, and to wipe up other messes - they are just handy to have around. I used them a lot in the first 6 months. I wouldn't recommend buying them brand new though, they are so expensive! So ask friends and family, or check out your local op-shop!

This is GOLD in a jar! I was given a jar of Lucas Papaw Ointment from a friend and it is, in my opinion, THE BEST ointment to have if you have a newborn or children - full stop. Great for nappy rash, insect bites, cuts, sunburn & even as a nipple cream (but must be wiped off before nursing). 

5. Bassinet
I absolutely LOVE my bassinet! My Aunty & cousins bought it for me when I was pregnant with Miss B. It has been used by 15 babies and now ready for the 16th! (including Master M). The thing I love about it, is that I was able to wheel it into the lounge during the day, and then wheel it back into the bedroom at night for the first 3 months - Master M transitioned to the cot after 3 months because he outgrew the bassinet. If you can borrow a bassinet from a friend or family member, perfect - because they are only in them for a short time (depending on the size of you baby, of course). 

6. Lansinoh/Breastpads
As a breastfeeding mother - these two items, for me, were ESSENTIAL! Lansinoh is one of the most popular nipple creams on the market and a MUST HAVE for breastfeeding mums, it 'soothes and protects sore, dry, cracked nipples' and it is natural so no need to wipe off before nursing. I was a good "cow", so I needed to wear breastpads up to 8 months. There is a range of brands available in stores - I personally preferred the Johnson's Nursing Pads.

This was my "go-to handbook"! I first saw Sharlene Poole on a New Zealand TV show - giving tips about newborns and they mentioned her book "Baby Whispering". I borrowed it from the library for the first couple of weeks, then I had to have my own copy. I loved it! (I still do)! It is a fantastic book that I totally recommend to all new mums - it covers everything from preparing for your arrival and birth right through to 12 months.

8. Exersaucer
Some babies love them, some don't! It has a variety of age-appropriate toys to help babies achieve developmental milestones e.g. cause/effect, understanding and hand-eye coordination. Nowadays, you can hire them for a few months, because just like everything else, babies do grow out of them. My parents bought one when Miss B was younger, and it has been used by several other babies over the years, now it's Master M's turn. He's not in it much these days, only if I need to go to the toilet (he is too mobile to be left alone).

9. Snap-N-Go Capsule
Where was this contraption 10 years ago when I had my first child?! It could have saved a lot of backache in those first few months due to reaching over the capsule to buckle it in and out, every time! I was fortunate to find a pram/stroller that included a Snap-N-Go system - where the capsule locks into the pram and into a base (that stays in the car). It was a DREAM in those first few months! As a first-time or new mum, it truly is a life saver - you just unlock the capsule from the base of the car and transfer it, and lock it, into the pram (and visa versa). Note: Baby is safely harnessed into the capsule. 

10. Change Table
I never used a change table with Miss B, as I only lived in a small flat when she was born and I didn't have the room. I am borrowing (yes still using it to this day) my sister-in-laws change table, as she didn't really use it with my nephew. I think it is great for many reasons - gives your back a break (you don't need to bend your back), shelves for storing all your bits and bobs (nappies, wipes, creams etc). When Master M was born, I didn't really use it at first but then I decided to move it into the lounge (as that is where we were both spending our days) and I have used it every day (multiple times) since. You don't HAVE to go out and buy a brand new change table, borrowing or buying second will be suffice. Some mothers I know have bought a change mat and stuck it on top of the drawers in baby's nursery - perfect. I, personally, just like the height and storage aspects of a change table - it worked for me.

So there you have it, those are the 10 things that I (as a new mum) couldn't live without in those early months! Some other things I loved and couldn't live without was...SLEEP, WIFI, MY FAMILY SUPPORT, and A NICE HOT SHOWER! 

Tell me - What baby essential items would be on your TOP 3!

This post is part of the #TuesdayTen Link Up with
 Lisa from The Golden Spoons & Rabia from The Lieber Family

I have also linked up with Maxabella Loves - Weekend Rewind #70.


Sunday Share: FMS PAD #4 + Weekly Recap

Isn't it crazy to think that we are already nearing the end of January and heading into February! Boy, time sure does fly when you are having fun, and I do hope you are having fun - enjoying the Summer holidays! (or keeping warm if you are on the other side of the world). 

Next week is going to be a big week for us, as we start getting back into our "Back to School" routines - Miss B is in her last year of Primary School (wow!) and I am returning to work in a couple of weeks (double wow!) (I found out this week that I will be working on Tuesdays) . Master M will be having a few visits with his new carer (Home-based) leading up to my first day of work eek! I will be meeting with the staff (including the teacher that I will be releasing) on Friday, which is perfect because we will get the chance to plan ahead for the term/year. I am starting to get a little excited about returning to the classroom - I love having structure to my day & being organised. #makeithappen

Anyway, back to Sunday Share: FMS PAD #4...If you have just joined my little blogging community {WELCOME} please check out my previous Sunday Share posts here:  Week 1, Week 2, Week 3.

Week 4 has been a lot of fun...did you play along this week?...My favourite prompt would have to be today - Day 25: Black and white. I absolutely love, love, love taking and checking out Black and White photos #blackandwhite #blackandwhitechallenge. Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim did a post earlier this week - Photography Lesson Tips - Mastering Black & White Photography. *A must see*. 

So without further ado, here are my photos from Week 4 - I continue to love and use my Canon EOS DSLR camera to take my PAD photos. 
Day 19 - Homemade
Day 20 - Window
Day 21 - In a row 
Day 22 - Collection
Day 23. Something far away

Day 24 - Play time
Day 25. Black + White
Which photo is your favourite? 
Come and join in the FMS Photo a Day FUN!
 #fmsphotoaday @FatMumSlim @charlene_ttmn

Head over to Fat Mum Slim to check out more details for Photo a Day - Week 5 or click the picture below!


Remember you can FOLLOW ME! on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest

Have a fabulous week! 


Front Garden Update!!!

Last year, I completed the 20 Day Challenge with The Organised Housewife and it motivated me so much that I attacked the front garden, which was overgrown with all sorts! It looked messy and didn't give our house the street appeal we wanted, especially as we are putting the house on the market soon.

This is what the front garden looked like BEFORE: See more pics here & here.

After a trip (or two) to Bunnings, and with a bit of help from my partner & Miss B, I finally got stuck in and finished our front garden. I decided to stick with the river stones (as I have two other river stone gardens along the side of the house), bigger rocks and a few plants. It is really basic, however it allows potential buyers to change it to suit them - e.g. replace the big rocks with plants etc, or leave it as it is. 

I am happy with it and it looks so much better than what it was - don't you think? 

Still need to pot these flax

Front Garden: AFTER!


I Remember That Girl! {1 Word Challenge}

Have you ever looked back at old photos and said "I remember that girl?". 
You look at a photo of yourself and you are instantly taken back to that moment in time - remembering how you looked, how you felt and what you did - just by looking at a single photo. I do!

I remember that girl! 
She was a slim, single mother to a 18month old daughter, returned to study to complete her Bachelor of Education and was diagnosed with depression.
That girl is ME! 

I remember that girl! 
It was her Graduation Day! She received her Bachelor of Education (Teaching: Primary). Her family and friends celebrated with her and congratulated her on achieving a dream that she has had since she was 8 years old - to become a teacher! She was very proud of herself!
That girl is ME!

I remember that girl!
She was confident & happy! She loved her body! She loved life and nothing was going to stop her! She was ready to take on the world! 
That girl is Me!

I remember THAT girl!
She loved wigs and dressing up! She went to costume parties with her Mum (yes, partying with her mother)! She was happy.
That girl is ME!  

I remember THAT girl. 
She always had a smile on her face, however behind that happy exterior, she was depressed and went through some really hard times! She lost her confidence, but she kept going, she had to - for her daughter. 
That girl is ME!

I remember THAT girl!
She met a guy and for the first time in a long time - she was ridiculously happy. She would smile from ear to ear every time her phone went off because it was text from HIM!  She was getting her confidence back, and falling in love! 
That girl is ME!

I remember that girl! 
She was fierce! She was in control of her mind, body & soul! She was a warrior! She was focused! She was determined!
That girl is ME!  

I remember that girl!
She just had her second baby. She decided to be a stay-at-home mum. She often struggles with her body (it hasn't bounced back as quickly as she liked), however she is determined to do something about it! She still has depression, but now has strategies to help her get through her low days. 
That girl is ME!

I remember that girl! 
She is a blogger at Teacher by trade - Mother by nature. She loves to organise & declutter her home (although she is a sentimental hoarder), she loves to dabble in photography, and she shares creative ideas with friends, family and anyone in the world. She writes about her Life, her Home & her Family. She loves her new journey as a blogger - it keeps her motivated and inspires her to be a better person. Blogging makes her happy.
That girl is ME!

I remember that girl! 
That photo was taken last week. 

This post is part of the 1 WORD Challenge hosted by Lisa at The Golden Spoons. 
The words this week were: REMEMBER, MAGIC and UNBREAKABLE! 

Also Linking Up with Maxabella Loves


#TuesdayTen: Time Capsule - Open in 2115

This week for #TuesdayTen, we were asked the question: 
If you were building a time capsule that would be opened  in 100 years from now, what would you put in it?

Remember to check out the link-up over at The Golden Spoons  and The Lieber Family where other bloggers share their #TuesdayTen: Time Capsule lists! 

Here are some of the things that I would include in my Time Capsule! Please note: it would have to be a semi-big capsule to fit all my items. 

1. Newspaper & Magazine
A newspaper or at least the front page with major headlines and a copy of a popular magazine. It would be interesting to read these in 100 years time!

2. A Book 
Either a best-seller or one that is published in 2015 - I love reading books, so hopefully they stick around! 

3. Frozen DVD or any other movie that drive Mums crazy! 
a) Great hiding place b) "Let it Go" must be shared with the world in 100 years, just because!

4. A McDonalds Hamburger/Cheeseburger
A few of my friends said this one, so I have added it in for them (not for me).

5. Photos - The way we lived!

I love looking at old photos from only a few years ago, imagine what it would be like for someone to see our photos from 2015 and before! I would include photos of my family and friends, landscapes, buildings, famous landmarks, beaches, wildlife, farm animals etc. I would also add in some money - dollar notes and cents, and maybe an Eftpos card! 

6. Catalogues / Brochures
These give who ever finds the time capsule an idea of what was available and the price we paid for Fashion, Technology, Vehicles, Furniture, Clothes etc.

7. Clothes 
The good ol' Evolution of clothing! I mean take a look at the evolution of underwear! ha ha. I would put in an All Black Rugby shirt because it has already changed so much over the years - and at this moment in time, they are the BEST TEAM in the WORLD!

8. Elastics, Marbles, Knucklebones, Hopscotch (chalk) 
These items are definitely worth making a comeback in 100 years - so I would include the items plus instructions of how to play each game. 

9. Price of Gas/Petrol
Will they have 'flying cars' in 2115?, will petrol prices be sky-high OR will there be no petrol in the world...oh the questions! I would also note down the prices of items we use every day - milk, bread, cheese and so on.

10. A letter 
I would definitely enclose a hand-written letter addressed to whoever finds the capsule outlining what each item is and how I/we used it. I would also enclose a special letter to be given to my great, great, great, great (possibly great) grandchildren - with details of our family tree. 

What would YOU put in a Time Capsule?

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