Simply Clean is a range of cleaning products designed by mum of three – Victoria. She designed them to promote safe hygiene practices in the home or office.
We all know know we should be a bit better with our hygiene practices, but often don’t have the time or energy to focus on that aspect of cleaning. So before we know it the kitchen cloth is being used to wipe something off the floor, and then back to the bench again; and you definitely can’t remember which cloth is for the bathroom.
Simply Clean makes this easier by having colour coded and specially printed products specific to each room / task.
Simply Clean have a wide range of products suitable to different areas inside the home and outside. I highly recommend checking out the Simply Clean website for their full list but here are a few of my favourite:
I am NOT a meal planner. In fact I’m the exact opposite of it. Usually I get to 3pm and am like “whoops I have no idea what I’m doing for dinner” and then run around like a headless chicken.
I’m still NOT a meal planner but I am trying to get better at it.
After a few weeks of my husband being away and me feeling like I have no control in my life anymore, I decided to get the meals sorted. So I sat down and tried to write a meal plan for the week out.
I even Googled it to see what I could find out about meal planning and will share it below with you. Also below is a meal planner that I have designed which also doubles as a “to do” list or anything you need to remember for the day.
You don’t have to create an elaborate list (or meal) each day. If you’re anything like me, even thinking of something to have can be difficult – even when I’m planning in advance; so keep it simple. Perhaps have a theme for each day of the week. Like this:
Mondays – Meat free Monday
Tuesdays – Slow cooker Tuesday
Wednesdays – Pasta / noodles
Thursdays – Stir fry
Fridays – Home made pizza
Saturdays – Wraps
Sundays – Roast
2. PLAN BEFORE YOU SHOP
If you do a Saturday shop, plan the night before so that you have an idea of what you’re shopping for. We have a shopping app on our phones called “ShopShop“. This syncs with our dropbox account – so if I update it, it updates on Phil’s phone too. This is how I add things for him to get.
Also try and utilise what you already have in your pantry. Stand up and look in the pantry as you’re planning your meals – you don’t have to buy a million ingredients – especially if you’ve already got them!
3. KEEP IT SIMPLE
You don’t have to create elaborate meals. Meat and two vege are absolutely acceptable forms of meals. My own list for the week includes “sausages and pasta”, “spaghetti bolognaise” and “chicken drumsticks with rice”. Very basic – and the kids love it.
4. USE A MEAL PLANNER
I have created a very basic meal planner (which is below) that also doubles as a bit of a “what’s on today” type of list. You can either print it out yourself, or use this Adhesive Meal Planner from Kmart.
Click the image to download a PDF version of the file:
Toy Libraries: did you know they exist? Within each community are these not-for-profit places that offer quality toys for a minimal annual fee (or weekly hire charge).
Honestly I don’t think I had any idea something like this existed when my kids were younger, but if I had, I would have totally taken advantage of it.
Toys are expensive, and infant’s / toddler’s / children’s attention spans are often that of a goldfish. So you might spent a lot of money on amazing toys only to find they play with them for five minutes and never look at them again.
The beauty of a Toy Library is to give each and every person the opportunity to have different types of toys available for their child.
Toy Libraries offer a range of quality toys, puzzles, games and learning activities for members to hire for a set period of time. In NZ our toy libraries mainly cater for children 0-8 years. Many libraries also stock games, puzzles, sport, musical and other play items suitable for the entire family. Some therapeutic toy libraries such as those run by CCS focus on children with special needs.
Toy Libraries are run by a group of volunteers for the benefit of children in your community. Fees vary from library to library.
The Toy Libraries are often located in public places such as your local Plunket Room – which gives you the opportunity to meet other families in the community.
Hiring not only allows you to change up the toys easily for your child, but also it is a good environmental option as you aren’t throwing the toy away.
If you’d like to find out if there is a Toy Library near you, check out the Toy Library Website.
Thank you to all of those wonderful volunteers out there who set up, run and manage each Toy Library – what you are doing is amazing for our community and families.
That word … the dreaded C word … the one you never want to hear or know in your life at all.
Some of you know about our struggle with Asthma and Croup, others don’t. You can read about it here, or I’ll briefly cover it in a couple of sentences:
For a period of about 8 months, Chloe had croup several times – to the point she was hospitalised twice. Finally we had a diagnosis of Asthma and since then we haven’t had anything.
The night before, Chloe had a terrible sleep where she couldn’t stop coughing. Because I know of her history with croup / asthma, I kept her home from school yesterday.
We headed off to the doctor first thing in the morning, and you know how it was – Chloe was fine. No coughing, nothing.
It wasn’t until lunchtime that the cough came back and she just couldn’t stop.
So we headed back to the doctor around 3pm, and he said “yep it’s Croup”. We got Redipred, and I went and bought a pineapple (apparently it has a natural cough suppressant in it).
Thank goodness I went back – otherwise we might have ended up in hospital last night.
We got home and I gave her a dose of Redipred and some fresh pineapple. I also gave her a shower to steam things up – but also highly recommend an ultrasonic vapouriser if you have one.
Croup is VERY scary for everyone – for the child AND for the parents. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
Hopefully this is the only dose of it this year.
Last night I was petrified I was going to end up in hospital though, and am so so glad that the Redipred worked and Chloe had a wonderful sleep.
She deserved it after the struggle she went through yesterday.
Has your child ever experienced croup?
Check out Kid’s Health for more information about Croup. If you are ever concerned please phone Healthline (0800 611 116) or visit your GP or local doctor. If you are worried that your child can’t breathe please do not hesitate to dial 111 and get an ambulance – your child’s health comes first and that’s what they’re there for!
This is my post to say to you as a parent – if you’re sick, it’s ok to stop.
It’s ok to say to your kids “TV is on ALL DAY”
It’s ok to say “I’m lying on the couch, I don’t care what you do”
It’s ok to askfor help
It’s ok to not do your washing
It’s ok to leave the house a mess
It’s ok to stop
It’s ok to not cook dinner
It’s ok to have random shit for dinner – spaghetti from a tin, or toast, or scrambled eggs
It’s ok to have takeaways
it’s ok to bitch and moan
It’s ok to cry
It’s ok to wish you were somewhere else
It’s ok to eat crappy food
It’s ok to do whatever the f*k you want!!!
When you’re sick – IT’S OK TO DO ANYTHING YOU WANT
In fact … want to know a secret? Even if you’re not sick, it’s also ok to do this. But we all know that when we’re sick, parenting is a million times harder.
Don’t be hard on yourself, in fact the easier you make it for yourself the better.
If you have a baby – then shit that is TOUGH. A toddler is one thing, but a baby is another. If you have a baby – just remember that a child does not need entertaining 24/7. This rule applies to a toddler too. OR ANY HUMAN BEING.
WHATEVER YOU DO, look after yourself. Take vitamins. Drink water. REST REST REST as much as you can. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING all the time.
If you have a partner then communicate with them. TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT AND HOW YOU ARE FEELING.
When you’re sick, it’s your body’s way of saying “slow down and let me get better”.
So do just that if you can.
PS nothing against solo parents, because I know that shit’s not easy. In fact, when I was my sickest my husband, my parents AND my in-laws were all not around. So I was doing it alone. hence why – “it’s ok to stop”. Because it is.
On flights they say “put your oxygen mask on first before assisting your child” – this is the same. Look after yourself first so you can look after your kids.
Before I jump into this review, I’d first like to say thank you to Godfreys for gifting me the Wertheim Series 7 Vacuum to review. All opinions are of course my own regardless that this is a sponsored post.
I’d also like to say that my CURRENT vacuum cleaner is a bagged cleaner, and I’ve never experienced anything other than a bagged cleaner – so I did actually ask some of my audience what they thought about the difference between bagged and bagless. The answer to that is below in the results section…
The vacuum comes with three different vacuum heads, and three additional tools. Each vacuum head has it’s own purpose:
Combination Floor Tool – multi purpose combination floor tool easily switches from a carpet cleaning tool to a hard floor tool. The swivel neck and plastic wheels make this floor tool easy to manoeuvre.
Hard Floor Turbo Tool – specifically designed for removing dirt and debris from hard floors.
Powerhead – Whirlwind Power Pulse technology deeply cleans carpets by effectively lifting and removing deeply embedded dust and dirt.
And each tool has it’s own purpose:
Upholstery Tool – for Vacuuming furniture and upholstery.
Crevice Tool – to eliminate dust from hard to reach places.
Dusting Brush – Ideal for cleaning blinds, bookshelves and lampshades.
The Wertheim Series 7 has a 4-stage filtration system (with Germastadt technology) in the dust bag. This removes harmful Asthma causing dust and allergens (perfect for my child with Asthma); it also neutralises odours.
The Wertheim 7 picks up more than 36% more dirt* than the best selling bagless vacuum cleaner.
The vacuum handle actually has a power button AND control settings – so you can control the suction power – to suit different cleaning needs.
MY REVIEW – THE VACUUM
After unboxing the vacuum, I immediately attached the Powerhead to it, and turned it on.
When you first turn it on, the control settings for the Powerhead aren’t on. So when I switched it on the vacuum took on a life of it’s own and felt like it dug itself into my carpet a bit.
The Combination and Hardfloor vacuum heads act like relatively “normal” vacuum heads and suck up the dust and dirt.
The Powerhead actually has bristles that turn and push into the carpet – which vibrates and releases more dirt and debris than you would normally get out with the other two heads.
I tried all three vacuum heads, and my favourite was the Powerhead – it made the carpet feel and look new again. I was genuinely shocked.
I also tried the Powerhead on dried rice and playdough and it did a good job – it couldn’t get the really ingrained stuff (that I even had trouble getting out with my hands) but I wasn’t concerned.
I also tried each of the tools out that come with the Wertheim Series 7, and found them to be very good too at getting into those hard to reach places, or even when dusting down.
Nobody likes dusting so this does help!
MY REVIEW – THE BAGS
As I said above, I have never experienced a bagless vacuum cleaner, so have always had to buy bags. As I didn’t have anything to compare the two, I asked a small group of people if they had a bagless/bagged vacuum, and what they thought.
The overwhelming response was that “a bagless vacuum cleaner is good, but a bagged is even better”. One person said she had had multiple bagless vacuums and nothing compared to the bagged one she first had.
I personally have no issues with bagged vacuum cleaners, and the Wertheim Series 7 is no different.
As I stated above, the Wertheim Series 7 removes more than 36% more dirt than the best selling bagless vacuum cleaner.
MY REVIEW – OVERALL I really liked the Wertheim Series 7 vacuum. I honestly felt like the carpet hadn’t been vacuumed that well in a long long time (especially with the Powerhead). Also, as overwhelming it felt to have so many tools at my disposal, I really love the options I have with the vacuum.
The only TWO points I’d like to make that were possible issues were that the Powerhead does make the vacuum slightly heavier and not as easy to manoeuvre as the other vacuum heads. Of course I do understand that it’s got it’s own motor in it and it does a completely different job in the fact that it’s basically giving your carpet a deep clean.
And secondly as I said above, sometimes it was overwhelming to have so many different vacuum heads at my disposal. I got used to it though …
Something that really tickled my fancy was the automatic power cord button which sucks it back in once you’ve finished using it. You might say “What the heck Maria?!” but our current vacuum cleaner does not have this – I have to roll the cord up MANUALLY. This wee button is a lifesaver for me!
WHERE TO BUY
You can get your Wertheim Series 7 Vacuum from Godfreys.
* Independent laboratory tested 2017. GFK Australian Sales Data May 2017.
Some days I really struggle to stay motivated and be happy, especially if something has happened and I can’t verbally speak about it and/or defend myself (drama llama on the internet).
On Monday I really struggled and had some pretty terrible thoughts go through my head. It really didn’t help that my husband was away at the time (and still is), so I thought I’d let you in on how it is exactly I got through that moment …
1. My Husband
He really is my rock. He’s my best friend and my sounding board for when things turn a little shit. Obviously he wasn’t there when I needed him (he’s overseas), but I still sent him an email pouring my guts out in the hopes that he would understand. Phil is very level-headed and does an amazing job of offering support whilst being able to show me that it’s not the end of the world.
2. The Lisa’s
Lisa Stirling (No Filter Mum) and Lisa Hays (Owl & Monkey) are truly amazing friends. The internet is both a fantastic and horrible place at the same time, and for me, meeting them (online) was one of the best things ever. We talk to each other multiple times a day, and they’re the ones who really cop the brunt of my shit. Phil is great, but sometimes the Lisa’s really understand more about this social media world, and can totally see what is happening.
Believe it or not, you guys are a freaking wonderful help. My Snapchat followers (add me on Snapchat – happymumnz) are truly one of a kind. I almost don’t have to say anything and people are there offering up kind words of support, or even just an emoji heart to show that they’re there.
4. Taking A Step Back
When things get bad and I have terrible thoughts, I have to take a step back. Something clearly isn’t right so whilst I might have all the support in the world, I still need to focus on myself and my mental health.
I now realise that things are changing for myself with social media – my audience is growing larger and I can see people changing right in front of my eyes. I have been devastated to see this happen. So I do have to take a step back a bit to protect myself. I love what I do, but I need to get thicker skin; I need to realise that to some people, this is just a game. It’s not a game for me so I need to remove myself a step and worry about me, and not them.
5. Tomorrow Is A New Day
Whilst I might have bad thoughts on one day, I do know that each day is different. No two days are the same. So I go to bed each night knowing that tomorrow will be better than the last. I know that whatever I’m feeling in the moment, will not be the same in 24 hours.
Like I said above, I love doing what I do, which is why I’m grateful to my husband, the Lisa’s and you (where you can) to help support me. I am also a very positive person, who sometimes gets down, so I use the above tools to help me get through and take me back to that positive track I’m usually on.
When you have some bad moments in your life – how do you get through?
Yesterday afternoon when I picked my daughter (5) up from school, she was upset because we are not the “fun parents”. She said that we yelled at her all the time, and that we told her off too much.
She said that she wished someone else was her parents.
I was shocked and a little upset, but to start with I didn’t show her that. I questioned her and what she meant, and we spent the 5 minute drive home chatting about it.
My heart did break.
If you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) you will have seen that when we got home, I changed it up a bit and we did have some fun.
After the kids went to bed, and Chloe and I had a chat, I realised where the comments from her may have come from.
When she was sick, my Mum came over (her Gran) and she had a lot of fun with her. Just like most kids have with their Grandparents, or Aunties, or Uncles, or ANYONE outside of the immediate parental unit.
When we debriefed together at bedtime, I explained to her that we will always be parents first and friends second – and that every other parent out there is the same.
I explained that “Gran and Pa” will always be more fun than Mum and Dad.
And that’s right – Grandparents (for the most part) have done their time as parents, and it’s their time to enjoy the grandkids.
They don’t have to parent the child 24/7, so they can be the fun ones.
Of course I realise she might not understand this, but one day she will and until then I will be doing my best to encourage her to continue talking to me when she feels upset about something.
I am beyond proud of her for telling me how she felt, and I hear her loud and clear.
It is a hard wake up call for me but one that I truly appreciate I have the opportunity to have.
Our family have a lot of fun together, but we are always parents first because it’s our job to guide our children in this world.
Yes I do yell at my kids. Yes I do tell them off. But we also laugh a lot more than both of those things and for me that is just as important. Our family is full of fun and laughter, but with guidance inbetween.