Thursday, March 26, 2015

10 Facebook pages to follow when planning a wedding

If you are planning a wedding in Australia and don't quite know where to start? There are a select few Facebook pages and groups you need to follow and join that you will want to know about!

Facebook can be a tricky site to navigate when searching for a page or group. There is no directory or search category, so unless you know what you are looking for it is easy to miss the gems. I will save you the trouble of tracking them down and put all the best here in one easy list.

1. You NEED to join DIY Brides Australia. It is a super busy little group with brides constantly asking for advice and sharing their neat little finds including where they got them from and how much they paid. This is how I found my wedding heels! Another B2B was showing off her latest purchase and handed the link to buy and price to me on a silver platter, Piece of cake. Have a question? I can guarantee that a member on this page will have an answer or a suggestion you can try.

2. Pre Loved Wedding Treasures, the Australian wedding buy swap and sell page. Lets face it most of the stuff you are buying for your wedding will only be used once and for such a short amount of time... and costs a fortune. So after the day has past, many now brides opt for selling their hardly used pretty much brand new items. This is your chance to find what you have been looking for at a fraction of the price. Most brides are happy to share pictures of the item at their wedding so you can see an example of it in action to inspire you for your wedding too. Also try Second Hand Wedding Supplies and Wedding Dress Garage Sale.

3. Most of you may already be apart of a group like this but if not search for your local Buy Swap and Sell group. Usually titled something along the lines of Brisbane Buy Swap and Sell. Keep an eye on these pages. Things might come up that aren't necessarily "wedding related" but could be a key piece you might have been looking for. For example; have you seen these window seating charts? I am in love with them. Old building supplies come up all the time on these sites and usually for pretty cheap!

Bridal magazine pages like:
4. Queensland Bride Magazine
5. Modern Wedding 
are always posting beautiful real wedding or styled shoots and are AMAZING for some inspiration or finding pics that can put your ideas into something physical to show your vendors. Definately worth keeping an eye on!

6. Pink Frosting is a good source for favors or bonbonnieres or ideas at the very least. And Bridal Bling can help you with the other all important tiny little details.

8. Follow your vendors Facebook page when you have selected them and even before you have committed, to scope them out. Most photographers, wedding dress shops, cake makers, reception venues, celebrants, makeup artists, hairdressers etc have a business facebook page. Follow or stalk them to get a feel for what they're like, how they conduct their business, what their customer service is like and also look for customer feedback!

9. Find a wedding blog to follow. They usually cover a wide range of wedding related topics, not just one specific area. I like Style Me Pretty. Aussie Blogs to Love might be a great way to find one or if you are a wedding blogger yourself, Aussie Blogs to Love is a great place to connect and share your blog with other Australian bloggers.

10. Finally there are whole websites specifically designed to wedding planning like Wedding QLD or Wedding Wire (Not Australian- unfortunately) but still great for ideas and inspiration

*Want 10 more? Pop over to and see their post top ten wedding facebook sites that'll save you time.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sleep training the three year old

I wanted to have a chat about one of my latest purchases. 
The Zazu Sam the Sheep Sleep Trainer.

I am not a morning person and we have a strict "no up before 7am" rule in our house. Despite my best efforts to ensure Hannah was in on the deal, it was obvious she didn't get the memo. She would constantly wake up Amelia. Whether it was intentional or not it was driving me crazy!

So one day I had enough and decided to do some research into sleep trainer clocks remembering I had stumbled across the Gro-time version of it in the past. 

I found several different brands that had some form of the concept and went to work comparing them.

The Babyzoo Momo Sleep trainer was another. 
And also the Kid'Sleep Moon.

Throughout my research I stumbled across their comparassion chart which I thought might be useful to share for those of you who might be in the market. 

I chose the Zazu Sam the sheep for a few reasons.

  1. It has both digital and analogue time display, so if it failed as a sleep trainer it will also aid in teaching the time. 
  2. It has an alarm function (as if I am ever going to need that!)
  3. It operates both on mains power and batteries.
  4. It has a wake up setting for both daytime and nighttime sleep.
  5. The all important child lock.
  6. A count down signal.
  7. Sam is in my opinion by far the cutest.
  8. And finally, lots of visual cues to enforce when it is time to be awake, when it is time to be asleep and when it is almost time to wake up.

I was sceptical at first whether it would work or not but with just a little bit of time spent explaining what the cues mean to Hannah, it started working almost straight away.

At 7am-ish she will come into my room and say "Sam's awake Mummy!" or if she comes in too soon a simple prompt "Is Sam awake?" or "If Sam is asleep, Hannah needs to be asleep" and she is usually happy to go back to bed for a while longer. Only a couple of times since we have had him that this has even needed to happen. 

It is even part of our bed time routine now where we say goodnight to Sam and somewhat aids in our battles to keep Hannah on her bed at night. We paid $59.95 plus postage for ours and I think it was worth every cent!

Do you have problems keeping your toddler in bed of a morning? 
Do you have any tips for me?

Monday, March 16, 2015

I don't use window cleaner anymore

I don't use window cleaner any more... and this is the reason why!

Children have a rare talent for touching a huge amount of things in a very short amount of time. You can bet your bottom dollar that this will be particularly the case when they have the grubbiest of hands and they will touch absolutely everything and anything despite your very best efforts to stop them. 

So lets paint the scenario; the above has just happened and you wisp your child off to the bathroom to wash their hands or worse bathed them and then plant them somewhere away from the chaos that was created on the way to said bathroom to occupy them for 10-15 minutes while you dart around trying to find all the places that now has vegemite and butter smeared all over it, with Spray and wipe and windex in hand, because we all know how hard it is to get butter off anything. Your child loses interest in your distraction and begins to follow you around as you finish off the tail end of your cleaning... touching everything that is still wet (as you JUST cleaned it)... then proceeding to put those same hands (still wet) in their mouth!

As a parent myself, exposing my children to chemicals was a big concern and something I wanted to cut out of my home without sacrificing hygiene. 

Personally, in our pre-children years (clearly not thinking ahead) we brought a glass top dining and coffee table. We were going through a bottle of windex and countless rolls of paper towel fortnightly. So when I was introduced to Norwex their Window Cloth was on the very top of my wish list. Was it really possible to clean butter off glass with just water? The concept seemed ridiculous to me, and much to my surprise when the consultant demonstrated just that, right in front of me I WAS AMAZED! 

This purple cloth and some water was able to clean away the butter and remove any streaks with no chemicals or paper towel. 

When I went on to try it at home, it even cleaned away build up from years of window cleaner on my glass top tables, that kind of foggy, speckly marks around the edges of the glass. And the results on our bathroom mirror where the light is good and every tiny little mark, smear or spatter of toothpaste stands out clearer than...?! (insert clever idiom here)!

The sense of "peace of mind" that this was a healthier, chemical free alternative that really worked was enough to convert us forever and was one of the reasons why I became a Norwex Consultant.

If you are interested in a demonstration or would like to try one in your home feel free to contact me.
You can buy your own Window cloth for $28.50 from here.
Click here if you would like to follow my Norwex Facebook page.

And if you are interested in reading more about how and why we are leaning into a better lifestyle including reducing chemicals, sugar and limiting meat and technology in our home, take a look at my About post.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Plans a Wedding

I played with the idea of creating a separate blog for my wedding ramblings... then I remembered that this is my blog and I can write what I like :-P but as a plus for those who might not be all that interested in this topic... it will only be on and off for six months!

Just like most people planning a wedding on a far too small budget, it is the first and hopefully only wedding I plan. Who knows where to start?

And who knew that coming up with the ideas and concepts was the easy part?

If you are planning a wedding and you are not already on Pinterest or Etsy then you NEED to jump on the bandwagon. They will be your best friend! Your first step should be on Pinterest where you discover what you like and create a mood-board for your wedding.

Your very first search should be "Wedding planner" Sift through until you find a few free printable's you like and one that includes a timeline which will give you some sort of idea about where you need to be and what to organise when.

Pinterest is AMAZINGLY useful for (if nothing else), putting your vision into something physical that you can show your vendors, your bridesmaids, your fiance! Then when you have your ideas flick over to Etsy or Ebay to TRY and source what you are looking for within your budget.

So, that is what I have been doing FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS!!! Just six months out from our wedding date and I am finally at the stage where I have a pretty good vision of what I like and what Ben mostly agrees on. The last six months we have been trying to find, source and book everything to fill our vision and it is insanely hard to achieve it within the small budget that I have to work with.

To top off any stress that this usually brings, at just six months out...
we are still yet to find a ceremony location!
Here in Emerald QLD there are not a whole lot of options for those who are not wishing to be married in a church.

And what's the deal with vendors not getting back to you? Is'nt this their business, what they make a living from? How is it possible for this kind of professionalism to be the norm in this industry?

On a more positive note, my dress is ordered- Yay!!!

Follow my WEDDING INSPIRATION pinterest board.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Im freeeee... for a semester or two!

I know, its Technology Free Tuesday and here I am on the blog again! Do you think if I changed it to Technology Free Thursday I would have more success?

Anyway, I have been writing recently in my posts When you over do it and The Studying Mum about my struggles of late with studying at uni while raising my beautiful three year old and nine month old little girls. While I still remain confident that it is one of the best decisions I have made for both myself and my family. I have had to make a very difficult decision to take a semester off which unfortunately leads onto another planned semester off (for our wedding) which is why this decision was so difficult. 

To make the degree drag out any longer than it has to is less than ideal but at some point you have to draw the line and put your family first. A good friend reminded me...

Uni will always be there when I am ready for it, the kids are only little for such a short amount of time. 

So, I am really looking forward to spending some time being a devoted mother and fiance, spending long days cuddling my kids while watching Frozen, making cupcakes with Hannah, playing peek a boo with Amelia and all the other lovely activities that often there weren't enough minutes in the day for.

Also, as an added bonus. If I am lucky, there might be a little time left over to spend planning the wedding day of my dreams. 6 months and 1 day to go!