Conversations with my 3 year old

Our conversations are getting more interesting these days...
Me: "Do you love Frankie?"
3yo: "Yes, she's our pet dog."
Me: "She's very special isn't she?"
3yo: "She's not special, she's just NORMAL."

Some difficult questions:
"Who made the beach?"
"Who do rocks come from?"
"Where do our poo go after we flush the toilet?"

On my taste in music:
3yo: "So AWFUL! Turn it off mummy!"

On my singing:
3yo: (hands on ears) "I'm NOT listening."

Me: "Hey, cutie pie."
3yo: "I'm not cutie pie. I'm Mr. Strong."

Me: "Why is your bottom soooo cute?"
3yo: "My bottom is not cute, it's BIG."

The Things We're Most Likely to Buy Out of Impulse (& How to Stop Doing it)

Shopping as a Mum can be tough. You’re in charge of the entire household and with so much to keep track of it’s easy to end up spending money on things you don’t need. If this sounds like you don’t stress, recent research from CoreData and Choosi found Aussies admitting they’ve made large purchasing decisions they regret. With so many of us looking to get back on top of our spending habits it’s time to say no to impulse buying. Check out these great tips if you’re looking to claim control of your shopping habits.
Take control of your shopping habits to avoid digging deep into the money bank
When a deal looks too good to pass up

Ever noticed how often you find yourself picking up an item you didn’t know you wanted just because it’s on sale? You’re not alone. Almost half of all Aussies surveyed (41%) admitted to buying with their heart rather than their head in the latest Choosi survey.  Sometimes that discount price or last minute deal is just too hot to ignore. Or so it seems. Retail specials like ‘two for one’ or ‘50% off’ can look good at first but if you find yourself coming home with outdated items or a strong feeling of buyer’s remorse then it’s time to act.

Solution – Don’t go shopping without a set plan. Wandering around the supermarket without a goal in mind is a great way to get caught up in sales so only go to a store with a specific goal in mind. Try the 30-day rule too. If something catches your eye, then write it on a list and stick it on the fridge. Once 30 days has passed you can buy the item if you still want it. You’ll find a lot of those sale items that looked so good at the time aren’t what you wanted after all.

When you’re at the Grocery Store

There’s nothing wrong with a little treat now and then, when you’re a busy Mum you deserve to feel good so go ahead and spoil yourself. But if you find yourself shopping on an empty stomach and coming home with things you don’t need, there are ways to curb your spending.

Solution – Create a list before you go to the supermarket. Match it to your budget so you know where your money is going. Avoid shopping during meal times and always eat before you go so your head can overrule your stomach. It sounds simple but try leaving the kids at home too. It’s tough to stick to your list with a little voice nagging you for treats. Compare prices before you load up your cart and stay strong at the register to avoid any last minute impulse buys.

When you’re with the Kids

This is one of those impulse buys that slips under the radar because bringing your kids a smile feels so good. Large and expensive toys may seem like a great idea at the time but as kids mature and age they can soon become outdated. Buying for the little ones also happens on a small scale which makes it difficult to reign in. With the latest smartphone games offering upgrades and unlocks for a very small fee you can sink some serious cash into them on behalf of the little ones.

Solution – Start by considering the longevity of a potential toy. Even a great price won’t make up for your little ones moving on and wanting something else down the line. Try using the experience as a teaching tool. Giving your kids an allowance and showing them the value of choosing something with help the both of you to make better buying decisions over time.

When you’re on holidays

Taking a break from the daily grind is something we all look forward to, but if your family holidays are leaving you needlessly out of pocket, you will come home from the vacation stressed about your finances. Using a credit card on holidays seems convenient but if you’re incurring extra fees or not on top of your budget you’ll come home to a major headache.

Solution – Planning a budget before you go will let you stay on top of your holiday finances. Try taking cash with you and avoid using plastic to pay as you go. If you do need to bring the credit card, consider adding a credit limit to avoid overspending. If you’re a part of the 50% of Australians who overspend on holidays, consider designated ‘discount days’ on your getaway. Use these to look for cheap or no cost activities, because the best things in life are free!

Spending less on needless purchases and saving more money for the things you and your family deserve won’t happen overnight. But by planning your purchases in advance and by spending within your means you’ll soon make impulse buying a thing of the past.

Family Photography Session with Samantha Heather

My mum and dad visited us from Singapore last month and we took the chance to organise a family photo session with the talented and very lovely Samantha Heather. (You may recall that she did a wonderful job 2 years ago when Alexander was only one).

It was a beautiful picture perfect Spring day when we met up with Samantha again at Fagan's Park at Galston where we simply hung out as a family, enjoyed the greenery and fed the ducks. Alexander has become quite resistant to photos lately but even he cooperated after some gentle coaxing (and maybe a lollipop bribe). Here are some shots from the day...

I love the candid shots, the naturalness of it all and in particular, how well Samantha had captured so many aspects of Alexander's personality in the photos. It brings a smile to my face everything I look at them and I know they will be treasured for many many years to come.

In this moment

reading... Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I picked up this book based on a friend's recommendation and also because I really enjoyed reading her other book Gone Girl. But it really is pretty dark and gory and depressing so far and I'm not sure I want to keep reading it.

watching... The Bachelorette. There's some serious eye candy this season.

reminiscing... Alexander's newborn baby days. We just celebrated his 3rd birthday and it's hard to believe it was 3 years ago since he came into our lives and turned it upside down in most wonderful way.

feeling... a bit congested. A case of hay fever I think. The only downside to beautiful Springtime, in my opinion.

cuddling... a warm and slightly stinky Frankie sausage dog. She really is the perfect lap dog.

wearing... new Calvin Klein cotton bikini Undies. I've just discovered how comfy and perfectly fitting they are. I bought 10 pairs!

listening to... daily Alexander's million and one questions and the non-stop Why Why Why?

enjoying... Stu being at home everyday for the next few weeks. It's nice to spend time as a family, not to mention being able to take turns to sleep in every other day. Bliss.

daydreaming... about being free. Free from responsibilities, debts, obligations, work, duties. Basically daydreaming about what I'd give to be a carefree child again.

loving... the gorgeous photos that the Samantha Heather took of our family recently while my mother and father were visiting from Singapore. Will be sharing them shortly, so stay tuned!

What are you up to in this moment?

Fab five - baby massage oil

A wind down massage at the end of the day after a relaxing bath was an essential part of Alex's baby routine. It really seemed to soothe him, encouraging him to sleep more soundly and for longer. It was a wonderful bonding exercise too, I still remember how he would giggle when I got to his tiny little feet...

Alex's baby days may be over but he still enjoys a relaxing body massage just before bed. These are five of our favourite baby massage oils.
Mustela Massage Oil - I'm a huge fan of Mustela products and this is one of my favourite. It just glides on skin, so easy to spread on and doesn't leave that greasy slippery feel on skin that so many oils do and it has that signature Mustela scent that I find light and pleasant, making Alex smell absolutely delicious.

Green People Organic Babies Soothing Baby Oil - a fragrance free formula using a blend of organic sunflower seed oil, evening primrose oil and rose hip, it gently moisturizes baby's skin and scalp without irritation. I used this in Alex's early baby days when crazy hormones meant I couldn't tolerate fragrance of any kind.

The Jojoba Company 100% Natural Baby Oil - this oil is great for baby massage and amazing at moisturizing baby’s skin. It is made with pure and hypoallergenic jojoba oil, enriched with calming lavender and chamomile - Alexander seems visibly relaxed the first time I used this.

Little Innoscents Organic Massage Oil - a great product to use for baby’s skin that will absorb quickly and leave skin smooth and soft. This hydrating oil is made of sunflower and Jojoba carrier oils and therapeutic essential oils of Spearmint, Lavender, Lemongrass and Sweet Orange. It smells absolutely divine, I use it on myself!

Brauer Naturals Baby Massage Oil - this products contains natural Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Mandarin Oil, Honey and Paw Paw to pamper and nourish bub’s precious skin and it works just as described! It goes on very smoothly and has a very pleasant aroma. Leaves skin very moisturized until the next bath.