Saturday, October 29, 2011

I heart my body

I've seen some of my fave bloggers stripping down for the I Heart My Body campaign over at We Heart Life and I knew I had to join in.

Until recently I pretty much hated my body. I was always too fat, too short and too freckly. I have dieted and gotten into a more "fuckable" weight a number of times. And, as always, as soon as I stop starving myself/freaking out about everything I eat/taking diet pills/drinking diet shakes/exercising excessively the weight crept back on. And always with interest.

But then I discovered Health At Every Size and decided that if I focused on health rather than on being a certain weight then I could be free. I went out and bought clothes that fit and that I liked and started taking care of myself because it feels good to do so-not because I need to be a certain weight.

So here is what 102kg and a size 18-20 looks like-no filter
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It's still pretty awesome right?

My amazing body has put up with all this weight cycling crap and abuse and hatred all these years and it still looks after me.

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I've grown to term and birthed three babies and I've carried three babies that never saw the light of day. I breastfed for 6 and a half years.

My body has changed since having kids. I now have the "fat apron" of loose skin at the bottom of my belly and I have stretch marks. Not to mention the perkiness of my younger boobs is gone.

But I still marvel at the awesomeness of my body to make and feed a baby.

Sure, I would love to be able to walk into a shop and find cool clothes in my size and not to be constantly bombarded with media telling me my body is wrong and ugly.

But mostly, I feel pretty sexy and like the way I look.

I've just joined the gym with the intention of improving my strength and fitness. The woman who did my assessment was floored that I didn't want to be weighed and measured. So I told her my goal is to look after this body of mine. To feed it healthy foods, without being obsessive, and to keep it fit and strong.

Not to try and fit some societal cookie cutter image of what our culture has deemed beautiful.

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This is me. I'm so many things and my body is just one part of that. And thinking that it's beautiful and sexy and treating it with respect encourages others to do the same.

I heart my body

Friday, October 28, 2011

10 Things I know about me-that you wish you didn't

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to the Things I Know linkup!

Want to join in? Rules are simple. Write your own Things I Know post including a link back to here and then add your post below. Go on. You know you want to.

This week I'm telling you 10 things about me you didn't want to know. I'm glad Reservoir Dad tagged me because I didn't have a theme for this week-and now I get to talk about myself!

The 10 things I know about me that you don't want to know are-

1-I hate wearing pants to bed. I only do it if guests sleep over and even then only if they are ones I care about seeing me walking around in my undies

2-I'm a really good swimmer. I did years of squad training and can do all 4 strokes with relative ease.

3-Tannah and my boob were on the front cover on the Australian Breastfeeding Association magazine in 2005. My boob and it's nipple pube are cover stars. Here is the photo they used.
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4-I played Jan in my high school production of Grease

5-I was a pretty wild child in my late teens/early twenties. I indulged in a lot of risky behavior like drugs, hitchhiking, casual sex, binge drinking etc etc. I don't know how honest I'm going to be with my kids about it all.

6-My favorite film is Pulp Fiction. I can quote most of the movie. I'm a smart motherfucker, that's right.

7-I can do this with my tongue. Only 1 in 10'000 people can. I can also make a bath tub and a 3 leaf clover out of it. I'm special.
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8-I've had my tonsils out & all 4 wisdom teeth removed. I've broken my nose, my little finger and my big toe. I once tore the ligaments in my knee at a Something For Kate concert and was on crutches for 8 weeks.

9-I miss smoking and wish it wasn't so deadly and expensive and stinky etc etc

10-I have some weird food issues. I'm scared of aspartame and margarine because of their toxic non-foodness and I drink raw unpasteurized cows milk. It's kind of hard to get but way better for you!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The bike in the garage

Last Christmas Tannah wanted a bike.

We took her to pick one and she chose a bright pink one with a basket and pictures of unicorns on it.

At Christmas when she opened it she squealed in delight-despite knowing she was getting it.

Since xmas I would guess that she has ridden the bike less than a dozen times.

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It sits mostly unused in the garage because Tannah is pretty scared when she is on it and doesn't enjoy riding the bike.


For some reason this majorly pushes my buttons.


My kids have all tried different things like dancing etc and if it's not enjoyable than they don't do it anymore. No pressure. One of the parts about unschooling that draws me to it so much is that there is no set date by which a child needs to learn things and that enjoyment and passion is key.

But the part of me that has learned how kids are "supposed" to be and the things they are "supposed" to do struggles with the fact that my almost 7 year old is scared of riding a bike. I mean all kids ride bikes right??

I keep having to remind myself that she might never like riding bikes. That she may be content to ride her scooter and find other ways that make her happy to be outside and active. I have to stop myself from saying harsh things about "all the other kids riding bikes" and "not being a sook" and ask myself if it really matters if she ever rides a bike at all.

Is it more important that I force her to do something so that she fits a picture of what a child is supposed to look like? Or that she has the freedom to move at her own pace, try out new things for as long as she likes and find activities that she truly enjoys.

For me it's the latter. And I leave the bike in the garage without comment until Tannah thinks she might like to try it again. Or not. And I take a breath and deschool some more.

I'm joining in with Owlet for Unschool Monday

Monday, October 24, 2011

I went to the Problogger training day and all I got was this lousy epiphany.

Last Friday I attended the Problogger training day. I'm not going to go into all of the blog related wisdom that was shared or the amazing people that I met-to check that out go and see the link-up over at Nobashake. I'm also not going to go into the drunken Karaoke and dancing that continued into the wee hours.

I am going to share with you what happened in my brain yesterday while going over my (very messy) notes.

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@chrisgarret weeps at my photography.


I have been talking about being a little more serious about writing this blog for a while now. I've been talking about going self hosted and learning the ways of Wordpress. I've been wanting to connect with more readers, inspire more people, try new things and, I'm not ashamed to say, make a little money.

I've made a lot of excuses about why I have not done these things but I realized yesterday that it pretty much comes down to one thing.

It's a pretty massive fear of failure.


By committing to grow my blog it kind of feels like that year in high school where it became cooler to pretend that you didn't give a shit rather than risk looking like an ass.

I have all of this wonderful information that I gained on Friday and yesterday part of me wanted to just throw away all of my notes and keep doing what I've been doing. That way if my blog never gains another reader and I never fall on another company's PR radar I can say that it wasn't like I tried anyway. Which is supposed to look like I'm far too cool to care.

Even if it would be far away from the truth.


I've decided instead of doing that I'm going to do just the opposite.

I'm going to take the things I've learned and the connections I've made and see where this blog goes. I'm going to stop pretending that I'm too cool to care. I'm going to love on my blog because I love writing it and I love it when people read it.

Want to stick around and see what happens?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bogan husbands and electric cars

Sometimes when I'm off doing cool blogging stuff I feel a little sad for Luke. He's often home minding some or all of the kiddos or I get to tell him about delicious food I've eaten, fun places I've been with the kids or nights out partying.

When I was invited to test drive the new Mitsubishi i-MiEV Luke got very sad indeed.

You see, he's a bit of a bogan my husband, and hearing the words "new" and "car" in the same sentence as "test drive" made him very excited indeed. And when he heard that the car was fully electric his eyes lit up.

Could this be a car that could reconcile his bogan side with his new hippy-la-la side??

He had questions.

"How far can you go on one battery?" (about 130kms), "how long does it take to recharge?" (about 7 hours but you can just top up), "is it really silent?" (it is, it really really is) and the main bogan question of "does it have guts?" (I was surprised at just how zippy the car was-I'm pretty sure it's pick up would please my husband).

He was keen for me to drive it for a week so he could have a go too and I could save the $70-$90 I spend on petrol a week but it has 4 seats so our family of 5 don't fit. Sadly because the new fancy Mitsubishi looks way cooler than my old well loved Mitsubishi.

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I'm keeping my eye out for bigger models of the electric car to come....And maybe I'll take Luke to test drive that one.

Mitsubishi would like to give away an Eco-friendly hamper to one reader!

Tielka Tea - Earl Grey Royale and China Breakfast (FT, CO, AUS, PF)
· Gunbower Creek – Extra Virgin Olive Oil (O, AUS, PF)
· Heavenly Delights – Lemon Shortbread (O, AUS, PF)
· Port Willunga Fine Foods – Gourmet Snack Pack (O, AUS, PF)
· Lindsay & Edmunds – Sweet Tooth Gift Pack (FT, CO, AUS, PF)
· Sleep Sanctuary - Relaxing Bath Soak (O,AUS, PF)
· Siham Craftlink – Hemp Loufah (O, AUS,PF)
· Mokosh Organic and Fairtrade skin care– 2x bath bombs (FT, CO, AUS, PF)
· Gunbower Creek – Olive handmade packaged soaps (O, AUS, PF)
· Pure and Green Organics – Citrus with Coffee Exfoliate (CO, V, PA, AUS, PF)
· Gunbower Creek – Body Butter (O, AUS,PF)

FT – Fair Trade
CO – Certified Organic
AUS – Australian made and/or owned
PF – Palm Oil Free
O – Organic
V – Vegan Friendly
PA – Planet Ark approved

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This giveaway will run from today until November 4th and all you have to do is answer the question-

What would you spend your petrol money on if you had an electric car?

I'll pick the three best answers and they will be sent off to Mitsubishi for the final decision. Full Terms and conditions here.

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang. I test drove a new Mitsubishi i-MiEV and all opinions are my own.

Things I Know

Morning all and happy Friday!

By the time most of you get up to read this I'll be on my way to the Problogger event training day.

I know that I'm excited.

I know I had plans to do this last night instead of a half assed effort this morning.

I know that didn't happen.

So here we are.

If you want to link up simply write your own Things I Know post including a link back to me and add it below. As my kiddos say-easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So what do you know??



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Matching desks and elbow room.

Having all three girls crammed together in one and a half desks was not working anymore. Harper and Willow are both old enough now to want a little elbow room to create their masterpieces and do their "work" and having 2 desks that were not the same height was proving tricky when they wanted to spread out a large sheet of paper.

So I bit the bullet and bought 2 more desks, identical to the original.
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Now everyone has their own space with tools suited to their own age closest but also within easy reach to try out other bits and pieces.

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Tannah and Willow are both closest to this. Textas, pencils, rulers, scissors, sticky tape and glue.

I also made Tannah a "writing station" with different types of paper and envelopes to send letters as well as sticky notes and a notepad.
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I keep the blank paper-both plain and colored-in the middle so everyone can access it easily.

Harper has her own little caddy with chunky crayons and paint "dotters".
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We are having great success with this tale setup! There has been some very industrious creating happening-inspired by their own space and materials. I'm really enjoying putting new bits and bobs into the mix too!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The 80/20 rule

Imagine you study for a test. You have a goal and you work really hard towards it. The result comes back that you got 80%. You'd feel pretty happy right? You wouldn't quit your course and say you were terrible at it.

What if we applied this to parenting?

Now I have some pretty lofty goals and ideals when it comes to the raising of my kids. But it is not realistic to think that I will be an amazingly perfect parent 100% of the time. Perfect parents do not exist. Sadly parents who berate themselves for not being perfect are in abundance.

I live by the 80/20 rule.

It gives me breathing space to not follow dogmatic parenting styles or advice and to take the bits I like and that suit our family and leave the rest. I means I don't have to take judgement to heart because I know that 80 percent is huge-it's an absolute pass.

And I strive for 100%. I do try to be the best parent I can possibly be all of the time. I don't decide that I can be an asshole to the kids for that 20% because I'll still be winning. But I know that I can forgive myself when I don't meet my ideals.


And I think 80/20 is good for my kids.

It shows them that I'm not perfect, so they don't have to strive for perfection either. It shows them that sometimes we have to be creative or take a different path & work together to get the outcomes that we want. It shows them to forgive themselves and to try harder.

It means not following dogma or parenting through fear.

It is being Perfectly Imperfect.

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Head over to Picklebums for more perfect imperfection

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Scienceworks Dinosaur day giveaway!

Do you live in Melbourne and love dinosaurs?
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Celebrate Children’s Week at Scienceworks with
Dinosaur Day on October 24 from 10am-3pm. This day will feature special performances
by Jurassic Joe (a dinosaur performer and songwriter),
free entry for adults to the Explore-a-saurus exhibition,
a bubbles show and screenings of the popular
Tycho to the Moon planetarium show.

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We've already been to see Expore-a-saurus THREE times. My kids think it's so ace and I'm delighted to be able to offer a giveaway of a family pass (2 adults 2 kids) to Dinosaur Day!

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All you need to do is leave a comment and be contactable by email. I'm drawing this on the 18th so be quick to enter and you need to be in Melbourne on 24th October to attend.

And if you see us there be sure to say hello!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things I Know

Happy Friday peeps. You know the drill. Write a Things I Know post. Link back to me. Link up below. Go. You know you want to.

It's late Thursday night and my brain is a little absent. I'm being distracted by The Hangover on the TV and I am finding the random stuff that I know bubbling to the front of my brain.

Here is some random shit I know.

-I'm the zen master of song lyrics. All of the important stuff that used to be in my brain is slowly being replaced with song lyrics.

-cats are opportunistic ovulators. It's the mating that makes them ovulate. Meaning it's get knocked up o'clock for cats ALL THE TIME.

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Barbie has camel toe

-I once squirted a business man in the face with breastmilk. I was on a plane with a 4 month old Tannah and she came off mid letdown causing a perfect arc of milk to land on his cheek. I almost died.

-in our house eggs with runny yolks are known as "coo coo k'choo" eggs. This is from Luke and I declaring "I am the eggman! coo coo k'choo!" when we do good eggs.

-when you fart at our place you declare "I am f
Farticus" and then someone else will chime in with "No. I am Farticus". We have trained the kids up since birth to participate in this game.

-my blog is like roulette. Sometimes you get well written/funny/touching posts. Other times you get random shizz like this. Spin the wheel!

So what do you know??



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sharing favorite childhood movies and books-with giveaway!

At the moment I'm reading Charlotte's Web to the girls. It was one of my very favorite books as a child and I'm really enjoying sharing it with them. There is something special in the nostalgia of watching your children delight in the same things you did.

I know I will be struggling to read the words when Charlotte dies-I still tear up in the movie-and I wonder if my girls will cry like I did the first time I heard the story.

We have only just started reading chapter books and I have been impatient for this time to come as I am such a lover of the written word and I was eager to reread all the classics. I have to remind myself that they are not necessarily going to like the same books I did and just because I want to read all of the Roald Dahl books in a marathon does not mean they want to do the same.

I have only been able to share a few movies. My girls are quite sensitive when it comes to content and they are not yet up for ET, Labyrinth or The Dark Crystal but we have watched the Fox and The Hound, The Aristocats and The Wizard of Oz (which I am surprised didn't scare them!). Luke is being very good about the fact that his children are yet to show an interest in his holy grail of Star Wars.

Recently Tannah and I were lucky enough to see The Lion King in 3D. I remember seeing this when it first came out and I sill know all of the songs. It was pretty special to share one of my childhood favorites on the big screen with my daughter.

Now you have the opportunity to win a Lion King prize pack so you can share it with your family! Thanks to Porter Novelli you can win the pack pictured below that includes a copy of The Lion King on diamond edition Blu-ray and DVD as well as the soundtrack.

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All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which book or movie you have enjoyed sharing or look forward to sharing with your kids.

I will draw a random winner on the 18th on October and I need to be able to contact you by email. Open to Australian readers only. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dino land-in a wine barrel!

On Sunday I gave you an update on our tiny backyard. We had a spare wine barrel with no plans so I thought it might be fun to make a prehistoric bucket.

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We filled the barrel up with some cheap tan bark and found some ace rocks from our next door neighbors rubbish pile (he's just done some landscaping). Luke was pretty happy when the girls recognized his "volcano".

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Then we simply put our collection of plastic dinosaurs in the barrel and the fun began.

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Rawr!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why does the boob offend more than the slap?

The first episode of The Slap aired in Australia last week. I was one of the millions of Aussies who watched it and followed the discussion online.

I was shocked that so many Australians still think that hitting a child is OK.

When I was younger and was on the drink a lot I used to get really mouthy (this is shocking I know) and pick verbal fights with my husband. I was really destructive, often kicking signs over and throwing stuff around & getting into fights. To put it bluntly I was an annoying asshole who was not very fun to be around.

What would you think I said Luke slapped me to let me know that my behavior was not OK? I mean he was doing it out of love and he didn't want me to get hurt or make him look like an idiot in front of everyone else. He just wanted to teach me what sort of behavior was good by punishing the bad. Or what if he just wanted to take out all of the anger and frustrations he felt by my drunken assholery by hurting me to make me sure that I knew how angry he really felt? I'm sure he didn't want to look like a "permissive husband".

Does that sound OK to you?

I'm pretty sure that mos people would class that as domestic violence and Luke would had ended up charged.(FTR he has NEVER hit me)

I find it astonishing that many people still thunk it's OK to treat a child this way.

I outweigh Luke by a good 20kg and it would still upset many people that he slapped me more than if he slapped one of our kids who he is much larger than and who cannot just pack a bag and leave or defend themselves.

When Tannah was a baby we were at a play centre. She was about 2 and a child who was about 3 came up and hit her and then pushed her over. The other child's mother responded by whacking her child across her legs while saying "We. Don't. Hit!"

I responded to the mother with "yes we do" and her and I got into a bit of an argument.

I'm floored that the mother didn't see the irony that to teach her child that it was not OK to hit another child was to use hitting as a punishment.

I'm not going to even go into the fact that most watchers of The Slap were more offended by the fact a 4 year old was being breastfed over the fact said 4 year old was slapped across the face. It makes me quite sad to be honest.


Hitting people is wrong-and children are people too.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tiny backyard update

Our tiny backyard and garden have been through some changes since we first started doing it up and we have had a lot of success with growing a whole host of food despite the lack of space.

We have kind of let things slide over winter this year. Not intentionally, just a combination of a lot of rain and not much enthusiasm. But the raspberry canes are loaded with promise for a bumper crop and I thought it might be worth getting my ass into gear to keep out tiny backyard abundant and productive.

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Look at all those raspberries waiting to grow and be eaten!

We spent a big deal of last week's spare time weeding, pulling out what is no longer productive, mulching, planting and planning.

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We moved the kids outdoor kitchen sink to a better spot and have planted out all of the barrels and raised garden beds with new seedlings. You might be surprised at how much fits into such a small food garden (I recommend reading Jackie French's "Backyard Self Sufficiency") but some of what we have planted is-
beetroot, rainbow chard, tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini,apples, mandarin, about 6 types of lettuce and greens, leek, kiwi fruit, peach, cucumbers, watermelon, snow peas, brocolinni, pak choi, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and about a dozen different herbs. Not to mention out passionfruit bush has gotten busy.
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Having all of the garden around the edges really makes a lot of room in the middle for the kids to play and the guinea pig house as well as the dog kennel (which is a re-purposed rabbit hutch) fit in neatly amongst the barrels of food.

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The grass has really taken a beating over the wet winter and with a dog ad kids to contend with but I think we might scatter some seed to bring it back. Fingers crossed. We've had to wrap some wire around the barrel because Daisy the puppy has been having some fun in there. We used wire that you can see through and Luke cable tied it large enough so it can slide off when we want to get in there.

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We plant flowers in amongst the food not only to attract bees but to give the kids something to pick so they leave the food alone. We have a massive snail problem (they ate 6 seedlings the first night!) so we have resorted to the iron based snail pellets. I'm hoping if we wipe out the first wave then we might have a chance of keeping them at bay by hand.

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I'll keep you posted on how much food our tiny backyard garden brings in. I know I get a lot of joy out of pottering out there and the kids do too. They have all planted a giant sunflower seed and are "racing" them.

Happy spring!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I Know-the Roar n Snore edition

Hey hey Know It Alls and happy Friday! Welcome to the Things I Know linkup. Want to join in? Easy peasy-write your own Things I Know post and link it up below.


This week I get to gush about the super fun night I had thanks to Porter Novelli and the release of The Lion King onto Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray and DVD on October 12.

This week I know-

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-seeing The Lion King in 3D at the cinema was awesome. Even if I did have to listen to Tannah stage whisper "THIS LOOKS SO REAL" and "WHAT IS THE GIRL LION'S NAME" a number of times

-I still cry in the sad bits.

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-Melbourne zoo's Roar 'n' Snore was even better than I imagined. With amazing animals on the night and morning tours, yummy food, cool tents and great guides like Jackie and Michelle it was enjoyed by all who went.

-When the guide asked us to toss the apples in the direction of the elephant Bong Su, I was glad Harper was too young to attend. I imagine a two year old trying to hit an elephant in the head with a flying apple would be frowned upon.

-a Murder Bird is called so because it sounds like a woman screaming. It really does, and scares the crap out of you when it "screams" at 3am.

-after a week of Tannah saying "I hope we see the serval,it's nocturnal" and "do you think we'll get to see the Serval?" I was delighted that we indeed saw a serval.

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-Tannah can now add "feeding a giraffe" to the list of awesome things she has done.

-Hanging out with the other ace bloggers and their families from Picklebums, Stuff With Thing, The Diary of Joni and Anya, Planning with Kids, Diary of a Mad Cow and Toushka Lee was great fun and full of laughs as usual.

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-the opportunity to hang out with just my biggest girl was nice too.

-a Roar 'n' Snore is totally worth putting on your to-do list. Our family are Friends Of The Zoos members and frequent Melbourne zoo often and I know I found seeing the zoo at night and getting up close to the animals in the morning was a whole new experience for us. And camping is always fun :)

-hearing Tannah singing Hakuna Matata today and banging on (and on and on) about Simba and the whole Roar 'n' snore adventure makes me so grateful for this experience!
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-watch this space for an awesome Lion King giveaway from Porter Novelli next week!

(disclosure- Tannah and I were guests of Porter Novelli and attended the Lion King 3D and Roar n Snore at Melbourne Zoo free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own)

So what do you know?



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Savings Chart

Tannah and Willow get pocket money. They get $5 each a week to spend on whatever they like. It's been very successful for all parties involved but we've had some trouble with the girls being able to picture their savings goals.

Tannah has already saved for something that cost $20. It was a lot of her asking how may dollars more she had to save and how many she already had. Not to mention me growing tired of explaining over and over.

Tannah now has her eye on a soft toy dog in a handbag (yes, really). It costs $30 and she has been saving. This time I made her a savings chart.

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On her savings chart I put a sticker for each of the dollars she has to save and we have been crossing them out as they add up.

I'm feeling very smug with my genius as it has been working a treat! Tannah is finding it easy to see her goal and how she is moving towards it. While I am finding it easy to refer to the chart when she wants to crunch the numbers.

Yay for systems that work!
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