Saturday, 2 April 2016

Happy


And just like that, you blink and it's April 2016 already. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind, but definitely an enjoyable one. 

As you may have gathered, time has become very precious for this now full-time working mummy, and my blog 'the home she made' has become more like 'the blog she ignored'. It's not that I've not wanted to be blogging,  but it has been a time thing and also, being at a bit of loss as to what to share. Largely in part I suppose due to the fact that a good 50% of our belongings, are tucked away safely in boxes and we are permanently housesitting until we decide where we are going to buy/build sometime in the next few years. And to be perfectly honest, I'm not all that interested in making the space we live in terribly homely.  as we know it's just a stopover. Organised yes, but with pretty decor? Not so much. It also is my parents house with many of their things still displayed around the home, which is completely fine, we never expected them to pack it all away for us to live here on a temporary basis. And I'm now back teaching full-time, so my priorities have definitely changed. 
 
I'm so happy to report that everyone is doing well in our current arrangement. The boys have adjusted to their new school and life in a new town, beautifully. They're both going well at school, they miss their friends from their old school of course but they're both happy and well, which is all we could ask for. 

It's definitely taken some adjustment for us all to get used having me working full-time and hubby working part-time in and around the boys school but again I'm so happy to share that it's all going well. I'm so blessed to be working in such a lovely school. I'm so lucky to be teacher to a really great bunch of Year 6's, and to be working alongside a really great staff, that are supportive and helpful. For me, the staff at a workplace is the definitely a deal breaker or deal maker - in my teaching career I've had experiences with both, and within days of working at my school, I just knew it was the latter. Can't tell you how great it feels to wake up each day and to actually enjoy going off to work, especially as it's been a HUGE decision and life changer for us, for me to be the one working fulltime and no longer being as involved in our boys schooling as in the past. That is now something that hubby gets to enjoy, which is really great for him, as it's never been something he's had the opportunity to do before. 

It's been a long time coming but for the first time in years, I literally mean YEARS, I can honestly say I am happy - and as I always say Happy Mum = Happy Family. There's something incredible about putting yourself into a situation where you just know it's the right thing for you and your family. Putting your family and their happiness, first. I definitely don't live my life with regrets, as the experiences of the past whether positive or negative have brought you to where you are now, and for me that is definitely a good thing. There are so many beautiful people in my life that wouldn't have crossed my path had we not lived in certain places or done certain things, and for that reason alone, I don't regret the past.  We do miss living in our old town and miss the many lovely friends we made, but true friends are true friends no matter where you live, and with technology and social media, you never feel like they are too far away! 

So it's onwards and upwards for this little family of four, excited about where the future takes us, but so happy to be in this place for here and now. 

Nothing trumps happy. 

.xx. Clare 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

New Beginnings


Exciting times are ahead for 'The Home She Made' - home is on the move and big change is on the horizon.


We've lived here in this farmhouse that we've made our own, for nearly five years. We have made lots of lifelong friends and we will be very sad to leave them, but the time has come. You get a point when you must put the needs of your family above and beyond everything else, so that's what we've chosen to do. The beginning of 2016 will see us move closer to our extended family, closer to facilities and services we need, and see me return to full time teaching. It's going to be very different from what we've known since becoming a family of four but we are all looking forward to a new beginning. 


Initially, we will relocate to my parents place (about 2 hours from here) until we get ourselves established and look to buy/build somewhere within the Bunbury area, close to future schooling options for our children. 


Our little boys for now, will go to school where I went to primary school which is lovely - they're excited to go to school with family (my cousin's children whom they know well) and friend's children that I grew up with in mummy's home town.


I'm thrilled to have been newly appointed as the Year 6 teacher in a gorgeous school, in a neighbouring town. I so look forward to meeting my 20 students and becoming part of the school community. 


It's all happening. Stay tuned for lots of packing and moving updates. 






Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Baby Vegas - Product Review

Brought to you by Baby Vegas 

In the seven and a half years I've been a mum, we've seen a lot, and I mean lots of toys under our roof! We've purchased a few, but many have been given as gifts or we've had them passed on to us from cousins and friends, from their children that have out grown them. And in honesty, the toys that have stood the test of time, and the ones we always end up holding on to and are still played with, are the wooden toys, puzzles and games.


When given the opportunity to choose items from the Baby Vegas website to review, it was hard to go past the Le Toy Van 'Ambulance'  and Kaper Kidz 'Wooden Hospital Play Set' - both are brands we have items from already and are very cute. My boys are all about role play when they're at home, loving pretending to be the doctor and having a First Aid Kit on the standby! The ambulance comes complete with a guerney, doctor and 'teddy' patient. The Hospital set comes complete with a nurse and hospital bed, and even better,  all the items pack inside, and are easily transportable with the handy carry handle, for all important stayovers at Nana's. Definitely great items to add to the list for Christmas for your kids loving role play. 


Baby Vegas website is very extensive, offering a huge range of not only wooden toys but party items; children's clothing; bedroom decor and manchester ; art and craft supplies; educational resources; dress ups and more. They offer a flat rate shipping of $9.95 on all items and is free for items over $175. Another great option Baby Vegas offer, is Lay-by - perfect for planning ahead for birthdays or even better for Christmas, only a few months away. 

Thanks Baby Vegas, you really are a one-stop-online shop for kids! 

Find Baby Vegas here: Facebook | Website | Blog 

I was sent both items to review from Baby Vegas. All opinions shared are my own. 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Cordless Power - Dyson V6 Absolute - Product Review



Without a single hesitation, I was going to jump at the prospect of a product review and blogging gig involving such a reputable brand as Dyson. It was very cool being invited to go along to the Good Food and Wine show in Perth and hangout with fellow bloggers and the folks from Dyson, to learn about the awesome V6 Absolute cordless handstick, not to mention seeing the new amazing Dyson Humidifier in action too, perfect for cherubs with croup that seems to rear it's ugly head this time of year.


The Dyson V6 Absolute, is hands down, best vacuum I've ever used, no word of a lie. I've been a Dyson girl for about 10 years now, and whilst I don't think I could part with our Dyson barrel vacuum, the V6 Absolute cordless handstick is the bomb! In usual Dyson innovative fashion, they've thought of everything with this model, complete with two Dyson-engineered cleaner heads, one for hard floors and the direct- drive cleaning head for carpets; a telescopic removable pole; a mini - motorised attachment perfect for furniture, car seats and pet hair and two other attachments for getting in all those cracks and crevices. It even has it's own docking station for you to mount your V6 on the wall for recharging. From large debris to fine dust on either hard or soft floors, the V6 Absolute, has it covered.

Any vacuum cleaner that can withstand the insane amount of dust and dirt that seems to make its way into this farm house, is always going to win me over. I am still overwhelmed by
a) the suction of the V6 Absolute - for such a lightweight machine
b) the disgusting amount of dirt that gets trapped inside the barrel each and every time it's whizzed over the carpet.
We've lived in this farmhouse for nearly 5 years and I believe the carpet was newly laid only a few years prior to us moving here. And what looks seemingly clean and plush after cleaning, it evidently harbours so much ingrained dust and dirt, as that V6 barrel is full in no time.

You get 20 minutes of operation in this cordless wonder with a digital motor, perfect for busting out my morning 'Power Hour' of cleaning. It even has a max setting which is like a supersuction option, my prefered setting for the carpets. You only get 6 minutes of power on the max setting, but I find this is just enough to give the once over to that ever lived on loungeroom carpet on a daily basis, without having to pull out my trusty barrel vacuum and power cords etc. Ultimately, the V6 is designed as a quick on the go machine, and given all its bells and whistles, you can forgive its shorter battery life and the need to recharge after a quick let's clean up, workout.

Hard to see how you could go past this lightweight, powerful, easy to use, cordless handstick. It's certainly got the market of cordless power covered.
Well played Dyson. Well played.

Disclaimer: I was gifted the Dyson V6 Absolute handstick for review and complimentary tickets to the Good Food and Wine Show to attend the Dyson event. All opinions shared are my own honest views. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Healthy Clean Home


It would certainly be no surprise to many that I like to live in a clean and tidy home. It would also come as no surprise, that the majority of the time, my husband and children couldn't care less about a clean and tidy home. So over the years we've attempted to try and find a balance, and the best I can compromise with is, I can cope with 'lived in' but I can not deal with unhygienic.

Just because a surface has been wiped clean doesn't mean it is germ free. Many of the sprays available on the market, are only designed to clean. What you need to kill the germs is an all purpose cleaner with a disinfectant, to stop them in their tracks. It makes me feel ill thinking of the amount of bacteria in a dish cloth sitting at the sink, and then so often is spread over the bench surfaces! YUK! Hence why I have them on very high rotation in our kitchen, washing the dirty ones daily. 


One of the things that makes my mind boggle with the floor plan of this home, is having a bathroom in the centre of the house.  I know this was to fit in with existing plumbing when renovating etc, but having no window and fresh air ventilation makes for a very dark, musty and often damp bathroom, the perfect place for the germs to multiply, especially in the winter months.

I won't lie, keeping the bathroom hygienic is a daily challenge, but  some of the ways I attempt to combat the germs in ours are:
:: Keep bathroom door open and fan on where possible
:: Have handwash handy and regularly launder bathroom towels and hand towels. Make sure you teach your kids how to properly wash and dry their hards. Hands are a shocker for transferring germs.
:: Keep surfaces clear from clutter and as clean and dry as possible. Moisture again, encourages germs to multiply.
:: Use paper towel to wipe over surfaces. Unless spotlessly clean, cloths harbour and transfer germs so easily.
:: Keep a trigger bottle handy. I try to clean the shower everyday when I'm in it, so I keep a bottle hanging from the shower glass. I tend to use an old toothbrush and a scrubbing brush for the tile grout and shower floor. If you keep on it everyday, it doesn't get out of control.
:: Never hang wet towels in the bathroom to dry. In our bathroom, it just ain't going to happen. So I hang them by the fire in winter and hang on the outside line in summer. Nothing like the warm sun and a breezy day to kill bacteria. Easy.

We don't have a toilet in our bathroom, it is separate, near the laundry. But these tips apply there also. I'm especially mindful when a family member is ill with a gastrointestinal bug. These germs spread like wildfire, so staying on top of the cleaning (especially with bodily fluids involved) is paramount. Again I use an all purpose cleaner with disinfectant, and lots of paper towel, to avoid harbouring and transferring germs.

Healthy Clean Home = Happy Clare

I was provided with Dettol Healthy Home Bathroom Rapid Foam and Dettol Healthy Clean Bathroom Trigger
to assist with preparing this post. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

On the Clare front



It's been so very long since I sat down to write a blogpost, in fact June was the last time... the longest gap I think since I started blogging nearly 4 years ago. Can you believe that? 4 Years? Where did that time go...

Happy to report things are seemingly better of late than they were late last term. In my usual fashion I let things really start to snowball out of manageable control in June, and I found myself wound up in a mess [exhale]. Whilst I'm nowhere near to where I want to be, I feel like things are clearer, allowing me to make some choices, and decisions that are best for me and my family moving forward, well for the immediate future atleast. And I really did just make the decision that I wanted to be happy again - you know glass half full kind of stuff.

It's definitely a case of this little blogger, (If I can still call myself that LOL) of things getting crazy busy on the home front, so things are awfully quiet on the blog front. But from next weekend, I can say that things will certainly be different. I look forward to life slowing down somewhat and having a whole load more time on my hands when the secretarial role I fill will be for all intents and purposes be done for 2015 and I find myself no longer in an ongoing teaching role. A few reasons for these recent decisions, which I'll elaborate on further in the coming weeks. But for now, just checking in on the ol' blog and fixing up a few technical glitches and to say, I'm back. And to watch this space... there's a wind of change in the air, and I think I like it.

.xx.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Spiral

Really struggling to find words to describe the past few weeks/months that upon reflection, have just blurred into one. It's been a series of circumstances and events that have started to spiral downwards and in an uncontrollable fashion.  In comparison to what others may face on an ongoing basis, many would say, suck it up Clare, atleast 'this' hasn't happened or it's not as bad as what's happening to 'so and so'. But you know what, this is MY reality, and in MY world, it has well and truly pushed me beyond my limits to breaking point.

For my own self preservation, I'm not going to go into specifics, but let me just say, there are many things about the passed while, that I sincerely wish I could do over; I regret actions and situations, wishing I'd handled them differently.

I've learnt a great deal about the power of words, and how like a tube of toothpaste, once it's squeezed out, there is no human way possible, of getting every ounce of that back in the tube. I've re-evaluated some relationships, some are more solidified and better than ever, and some are a little worse for wear. I've been given some brilliant advice and support at times from surprising sources, and then I've been put back in my box, and shown very little humanity and compassion, from where I'd at least expected some understanding.

I am so far from perfect it is unbelievable. I am definitely not interested in playing the victim, and take responsiblity for my choices. I try hard not to hide behind any diagnosis, I am fully aware and accept my reality. But to say I'm a little fragile at the moment, is one huge understatement. So for those who know me, and for those that read from afar, you'll have to allow me a little latitude. In usual fashion, the way I cope is by hibernating and at times withdrawn - shock horror, for those who know and only see the strong exterior, I may look like an elephant on the outside but I've got a thin skin really.

Piece by piece and in my own time, I'll attempt to start to piece this all back together.