Wednesday, 30 July 2014

REAL MUM REVIEW: Love to Dream INVENTA Sleep Bag - 2.5 Tog


When you are all loved up in the midst of pregnancy you don't ever dream that when you become a mum that your greatest wish will be to have a full nights sleep do you???

Little miss P was such a great sleeper, she would get tucked up in her bed and drift off for the night* and my little Sunshine is a great sleeper now but he wasn't always. He was pretty terrible when he first entered the world; up every hour during the night to feed and cuddle, then as he grew he was so hungry all the time he was still up to feed and cuddle. He has always been a wriggle pot so we have never been  able to use any blankets in his bed in the fear of him suffocating himself so it has always been about the love me up swaddles and now sleeping bags. This winter has been super cold and our house has absolutely no insulation so you can imagine how freezing it is in here, heaters don't even have a chance at warming up a room so we had to find a comfy, cosy and warm sleeping bag for our Sunny to keep him snug but also keep him really toasty so he wouldn't wake up from the chill in the air. The 2.5 Tog Inventa Sleeping bag has been an absolute winner! On nights that our little guy is using something else due to this beauty being in the wash, he wakes at least once. I have secretly named this sleeping bag the sleep machine, it has made it onto my mummy-must-have list for all mums that want their babes to sleep sleep, sleep, sleep! Whats cool to is that is it grows with your child so you get more bang for your buck. I love it! 

Features of the Love to Dream INVENTA Sleep Bag - 2.5 Tog:
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • 100% natural bamboo fill
  • 100% cotton lining is brushed for a cosy feel
  • Ergonomic Design, soft stretch fabric for increased comfort
  • Longa ShortaTM length feature
Be sure to check out the Love to Dream website, I am such a huge fan of everything thats there! 


*Shes not like that now though!

* Disclaimer: I was gifted this product for my little guy to trial but I loved it so much I really wanted to share it with you. All words and comments are my own true opinion.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

29/52


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Winter beach. 

Little P: Its so cold; I don't know how your little feet didn't become frozen...

Sunshine: A huge sand pit, what fun it is to play!


Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 


Friday, 18 July 2014

The importance of Pelvic floor exercise during pregnancy { + WIN A $150 LORNA JANE VOUCHER! }


THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY THE CONTINENCE FOUNDATION AUSTRALIA
screen shots

The question I have today for all of the Ladies out there is; Did you do regular pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy? And do you do pelvic floor exercises regularly now? 

Sadly this question is usually answered by a "no", or even; "I didn't know I was meant to?" I talk to mums everyday and our conversations usually revolve around toilet talk; whether its our babies digestive movements or laughing about a sneeze turning into a loss of bladder control. That laughter usually ends in; "Why do mums have it so hard?" And really, why should us mums have it so hard? The truth is that if we look after our bodies well we wont have to deal with those issues. Pregnancy and child birth puts so much pressure on our bodies and thats why the health of all mums should be taken seriously and well looked after. I wasn't too good during my pregnancy with pelvic floor exercises; it was always vaguely in the back of my mind that I had to do them but I always seemed to forget or tell myself I was going to do them later. The silly thing is that its so simple to do these exercises anywhere, you don't have to be in your exercise gear at the gym. You can do them simply sitting at the traffic lights in the car! What we need to remember though is that Pelvic floor exercises and pre/post pregnancy fitness is so very important for our bodies to work at optimum level in everyday life.
And really, who doesn't want to be able to have a jump on the trampoline with their kids and not be scared a little bit of wee may come out? 

Did you know that having a baby makes a woman three times more likely to leak than a woman who hasn't had one? In fact, one in three women who've ever had a baby will wet themselves. In the majority of cases, however, urinary incontinence as a result of pregnancy and childbirth is preventable and treatable.

This is why their is such an importance to reach out to all women and this is what the Continence Foundation's aim is to do exactly that. 
The Continence Foundation of Australia has a mission to represent the interests of Australians affected by, or at risk of, bladder and bowel control problems and act as an advocate for their interests so this is why they have released an amazing new app called Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Plan. The app is geared towards pregnant women to raise awareness and provide practical information regarding pelvic floor, bladder and bowel health. 



I have been playing around with this app the past couple of weeks and it is such a fantastic resource; its super simple for users as they are encouraged to input their due date to view information and receive push notifications relating to key pregnancy milestones personalised for their due date. A key function of the app is the information about how to do pelvic floor exercises and the ability to set up reminders to perform them 3 times per day... These were definitely the reminders that I would of loved during my pregnancies! 


 Topics covered in the app include (but not limited too):
  • ·       Safe exercise during pregnancy
  • ·       Looking after your back
  • ·       Bladder and bowel control problems – symptoms, causes and tips for management
  • ·       Tips for healthy bladder and bowel habits
  • ·       Preparing for the birth
  • ·       Pregnancy and postnatal abdominal muscle bracing
  • ·       Sex during and after pregnancy
  • ·       General information about what to expect during check-up’s with your health professional during your pregnancy
  • ·       Communicating with your partner
  • ·       Post natal depression
  • ·       Did you know? section for each milestone
  • ·       Where to get help: finding local services for pelvic floor problem

So there are no excuses... If you are a woman; you need to check out this app! Take a look around and let me know what you think?


App Download Links: Will be available on iTunes & Google Play for Android



Further great resources; 
Pregnancy Specific information: http://www.continence.org.au/pages/pregnancy.html

Now for a heap of fun! The Continence Foundation want to you to give you the chance to WIN A $150 LORNA JANE VOUCHER to get you kitted out in a new workout outfit! AMAZING!
All you need to do is enter by answering the skills based question in the rafflecopter below. All terms and conditions below. GOOD LUCK!

Terms and Conditions:

The name of the promotion is: Continence Foundation of Australia competition

The promoter is LIVE IT DO IT in conjunction with the Continence Foundation of Australia
The conditions of entry are that you need to answer the question in the rafflecopter below.

Employees, immediate family members, retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies are not eligible to enter.

The giveaway will close on Friday 25th July, 10pm. Comments submitted after this time will not be considered for the giveaway.

This is a game of skill. The winner will be awarded based on the strength of their answer to the question; IF YOU COULD WORK OUT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD IT BE?
The prize will be in the form of product which will be sent to the winner once address details have been provided after the competition has closed.
The results of the giveaway will be published on this site on 28th July.

Prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable

The total prize value $150.

The competition is open to Australian residents only.

If for any reason beyond the Promoter’s control the agreed prize is not available a product of equal or greater value will be provided.

The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received product for review purposes but all comments and opinions are my own! 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Three clever ways to save your family $$$


THIS POST IS SUPPORTED BY GOODYEAR TYRES



We all know how it pays to be clever and think into the future but in the rush from day to day the best of intentions can get pushed aside. Here are a few ways to save your family dollars that can then be spent on more important or fun things!

Make the most of what (food) you’ve already got

You’d know from my blog already that I am passionate about fresh food and health-promoting high quality ingredients. While we do all we can to buy in bulk and direct from the producer, through the local farmers market, these food items make up a significant part of our family spending each week. It’s not just the money either. Throwing away food is one of the most careless and wasteful things a person can do, and when I have on rare occasions had to do it, I’ve felt incredibly guilty.

Aside from the obvious, only buy what you think your family will genuinely consume each week…. try to consume, or cook and freeze, all the perishable items from your shopping before you shop again. Sort of like what you do before going on holiday. Sounds basic, I know, but the very act of doing this can trigger some creative cooking and delicious results.

You can apply this principle to any dried or longer storage ingredients as well. Keeping popular pantry items on high rotation helps to ensure that you, and your family, always eat the freshest possible ingredients. So good for those growing bodies!

Weekly cost saving estimate $75

Saving on car tyres

Fuel is another big expense for our family. Before I had kids I had no idea just how much driving around I’d need to do with two young children. I’ve got a feeling that there will be even more of this as they get older!

Here clever fuel saving technology comes to the rescue. Goodyear Assurance Triplemax tyres are designed with less material in the tyre and lower heat generation to reduce rolling resistance, which uses less energy, reduces fuel consumption and saves you money.

It’s nice to know that this fuel saving doesn’t compromise performance, Goodyear Assurance Triplemax tyres are also specifically designed for better braking, grip on wet road, extra durability and added protection against road hazards.

The savings don’t end there; Goodyear is currently offering four for the price of three on its Assurance Triplemax range – take up this offer here.

Expected savings of up to $500


The ‘Present Box’

With two young children, their playmates, plus our large extended family there is always a birthday coming up on the calendar. Shopping last minute is time consuming, costly and often unpleasant. If, like me, you are not ‘born organised’ with each gift pre bought and wrapped months in advance, there is cheaper and much less stressful option.

You can shop at home from your very own ‘Present Box’. Essentially this is a small collection of pre-bought gifts, which you can wrap and personalise for any occasion.

When building up the gift collection, think ‘small and thoughtful’. Women love little luxuries like scented candles, leather luggage tags, bath bombs and rich hand creams with natural ingredients. For men I tend to buy more quirky items like cool fridge magnets, decks of cards with pin ups from the fifties and small leather-bound notebooks. I’m always on the lookout for beautiful picture books for young children. For older kids, self powered torches plus old-fashioned toys like spinning tops and self assemble wooden gliders are well received.

The idea here is not to go out and buy all this stuff at once. When you are out and about (or even online) and spot something unique, affordable and appealing as a gift, buy it and add to the present box. This comes with a warning for shopaholics and hoarders… make sure you don’t stock up on more gifts then you have friends for!

Annual cost saving estimate $350 (depending on your social life!)


HAPPY SAVING! x



28/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Two kids and a bag full of offal.

This sums these 2 up perfectly... Always want to be in on the action even if it is bagging lambs brains! ;)

Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 


* Still on the iphone XO

Thursday, 10 July 2014

From first words to thinking about planning for school


THIS POST IS SUPPORTED BY AUSTRALIAN SCHOLARSHIPS GROUP
source
Having kids is an awesome responsibility, in the best and the scariest ways. Sunny has started his first real words… ‘mum’ of course, and ‘banana’ (or ‘nana’) for bananas or any kind of food really!  As his vocab increases I see that little brain just ticking over all the time, absorbing so much around him that it totally spins me out. Right now he’s learning from his family, but in few years he’ll be in preschool like Pia.

My beautiful little babies are growing up so quickly.  Soon they’ll both be in primary school, then high school, and then who knows what kind of post secondary education they might choose? In the next few years we are going to have to start making a whole lot of decisions as parents on schools, extra curricular activities, and how we are going to pay for it all.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, sometimes it helps to get some advice from the experts, so I sat down with An ASG Representative from the Australian Scholarship Group (ASG) to get the buzz direct on how to best plan, for our kids education.

1.    Pia is three and Sunny is barely one year old, am I getting way too much ahead of myself here thinking about things like high school and Uni?

No, right now is the perfect time. When you add it up, the money you spend on your kids’ education is likely to be one of your family’s biggest expenses. Planning early will help with the education choices you make along the way, from the ones you make in regards to high school to whatever they might choose for higher education.

Also keep in mind that the proposed Federal budget changes will have an impact, putting even more pressure on the family budget and make planning for future life events, such as education, even more important. The change in government direction means that parents should get in now to maximize the benefits.

2.    So what kind of education costs am I looking at?

That’s a good question. Too often parents just look at school fees but it pays to remember you’ve also got to budget for transport, uniforms, computers, school excursions and sporting trips to really determine the true cost of education.

ASG have an education cost calculator on their website which parents find helpful as it breaks down those estimated costs for pre-school, primary, secondary and university education with different public, systemic and private school options to choose from in each state.

3.    Okay I get that your goal at ASG is to help families plan for their children’s education but, in simple terms, how does this actually work?

You make contributions to your nominated fund over a period of time. Your contributions are invested with professional fund managers with the aim of achieving steady capital growth. Investment returns are added back annually, so your overall balance grows steadily over time.

When the nominated time comes you receive your account balance back in the form of two distinct benefits.
·      First the contribution you’ve made will be paid back to you as a tax-free return of your capital (your Members Benefit).
·      Second your investment returns will be paid back either directly to you (Maturity Benefit), or directly to your child (Scholarship Benefit), depending on your fund and benefit election. Certain tax advantages apply to the payment of these benefits.

4.    How does what you offer compare to a regular saving plan?

While most parents have the best of intentions when it comes to saving for their kid’s education, since this is such a long-term goal, it’s all too easy to draw from that money that has been set aside for other family expenses, anything from monthly bills to holidays and even house deposits! ASG’s more disciplined approach ensures that, when the time comes, you have the funds available to help offset the costs of education.

And now is the time to join because of all the other non-financial benefits Members will recieve. As part of the new, more holistic approach by ASG, we’re working to partner with parents to help their child reach their full potential. This means parents are going to get more help and guidance than ever before through extra content, resources and services all around education.

5.    What should I do next?

The good news is you’ve already started. Education is likely to become more expensive, and even more important as an asset to your kids. The key to success is planning early, even before pre-school. Now is the perfect time to start looking into your family’s potential education expenses and plan for them financially, as well as socially and emotionally.

source
Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) is a not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider.  ASG has supported over 509,000 children and their families to offset the cost of education.  But now ASG is moving towards offering more than just education funds. They’re creating an ever-expanding suite of resources, online tools and guides to support parents and nurture children in their educational journey so they can reach their full potential. Visit www.asg.com.au to discover member benefits or call 1800 648 945.More articles regarding education issues, development, family members and parenting are available on www.asg.com.au/resources

We would love for you to win a week-long, luxury, family excursion from ASG! Just follow this link to get in on the action à  http://www.asg.com.au/excursion


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A healthy update..


You may or may not of noticed that things have been a little quiet around here. That is because since I wrote this post; I have been taking some time out just to do life simply and take some time to breathe. Instead of working myself over the computer to get "stuff" done or sitting over my mobile phone waiting for the next email to come in, I have been putting my phone away, taking the time to play with my kids, cuddle them and look after myself a little more than I had been. I was was getting too overwhelmed, too overworked and too out of touch and taking a a little step back has felt really good! I am getting to bed early (AMAZING!), eating proper meals, cutting out the snacking, taking a whole heap of prescribed supplements and listening to my body and resting when I need too. Through putting these simple things into practise; I have lost 8kgs and I have a heap more energy! I've still got a long way to go but having alot more energy again and losing this 8 has been a massive weight lifted! I know things are going to get even better as long as I'm looking after myself and nourishing myself emotionally, physically and nutritionally.

My house is still a bomb site the majority of the time and I still struggle with getting the washing up done and the laundry folded and put away, being at home with the kids by myself most of the time ... BUT I am feeling a lot better, I am feeling pretty good and excited for whats next!

Cass xo

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Our Health Experts Have it Wrong!

GUEST POST BY  GEORGIA OF STIRRING CHANGE


You've heard me ramble on about how Great Georgia is here, here, and here... So I think its time I hand over the reigns and let the lady herself share a bit with you about her exciting upcoming "what to eat" program that will be happening very soon and how, when it comes to diet, we may of all got it all wrong! It looks incredible! I cant wait!

Your optimal diet.

Imagine if, despite best intentions, you had it all backwards?
Most of our health experts do. So how are we supposed to be sure?

If you're suffering with gut symptoms, can't shake off Winter illness or struggling with fatigue or mood imbalances: there ARE answers.

And Traditional folk knew them long before we had the questions!

I was reminiscing yesterday about our divine two-week stint in Lombok, last year. The traditional people there have digestible, nourishing and (most importantly) FLAVOURFUL foods down pat. Observing their local fare reinforced so many of the ideas we discuss in the program.

So, which foods form the bulk of their diet? White rice, starchy tubers, tropical fruits & animal fat / protein.
 
What you don’t see in significant portions: whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds & leafy greens. 
 
We've been led to believe by our health experts that these 'anti-nutrient'-rich foods should form the basis of a healthy diet. (In the 'What to Eat' program we discuss the politics of how this came to be).

They're certainly healthy to include in small amounts, however with our collective health issues, (especially widespread gut and thyroid dysfunction), there are other OPTIMAL foods which are better suited to our physiology.

If you’re keen to get clear about conflicting nutrition advice and would like a new direction to head in – you’re not alone.

If you're up for a refreshing take on things, a truly inspirational & supportive community and lasting change.. don't just sit there!  ;-)

Our last ever class is filling up quickly and we’d LOVE to have you with us on the journey. Our grads are eagerly awaiting your arrival in the Facebook group.

JUMP IN FOR LIFETIME ACCESS




27/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Weekend escape. 

Little P: my precious fairy princess... Everyday!


Sunshine: happiness!


Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 


* Still on the iphone XO

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