Natural Ways To Ease Hay Fever!

Natural ways to ease hay fever

For so many people the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures is not cause for celebration but commiseration as it can mean that hay fever season has arrived!

Stuffy noses and sinus pain can cause so much pain and discomfort that resorting to taking anti-histamines daily seems like the only way to feel better.

Whilst these medications do a good job to alleviate the symptoms, they certainly put a big dent in your wallet each week.

There are plenty of natural things you can try to help you cope and are definitely worth trying.

(This is not medical advise and please consult your doctor before making changes to your current health plan)

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Munch on some mint

Chewing on a few fresh mint leaves can help to clear nasal congestion and inhibits the release of histamines which cause all the uncomfortable symptoms of hay fever.

Inhale lavender pure essential oil

Place a drop or two of lavender essential oil on to a tissue and hold just below your nose. Breathe in through your nose until the fragrance has faded. This oil is well known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Time for a cuppa

Herbal teas are great to drink at any time of the day. Choose from nettle, peppermint or chamomile tea as these 3 will help to open up the nasal passage and relieve sinus pressure.

Sip on some cider

Not all apple cider vinegar’s are created equal. Before you start sipping make sure the one you have at home has the ‘mother’ included in the bottle. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1/2 a cup of room temperature water (or more if preferred) and sip it until its all gone. This is a great way to give your immune system a good boost and helps to break down mucus.

Peel a pineapple

Remove the peel off a fresh pineapple but don’t throw out the core. Pineapples have a high concentration of Bromelain that can really help to reduce your reaction to allergies whilst reducing swelling in the nose and sinus. The highest concentration is found in the core. If you can’t cope with eating the core, pop it in the blender with some other favourite fruits and make a smoothie.

Spice up your meals

There is nothing like a good curry to make your nose run, and that is exactly what you want to happen to ease congestion. Add chilli, garlic, onion, ginger, tumeric and cayenne pepper to your food to thin mucus for easy expulsion and pressure release.

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All of these things are easy to purchase or you probably have most of them at home already.

Incorporating some of these into your daily routine is not hard and hopefully will bring you some relief.

Do you suffer badly from hay fever?

What works best for you to alleviate the discomfort?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

You Are Never Too Old To Try Something New!

Physie begginer ladies

For the past decade I have been your typical dance mum, ferrying my girls to Physie classes, waiting around during class time and getting home quite late and having dinner planned that was quick and easy.

As the competition time of the year arrived, I donned the red, white and black club colours and sat all day at a school hall bored out of my mind for most of it.

A couple of times I entertained the thought of actually doing Physie myself, but always came up with a myriad of excuses….I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, I am too old to start something new like this….etc.

At the end of the year break-up party last year, one of the mums said ‘we should be doing this too’.

She sewed the seed that stuck with me all Christmas break and on sign-up day, I put my name on the list.

OMG….what have I done?????

How can a 51 year old start something new like this?

BJP Physical Culture has classes from Tiny Tots all the way through to Beginner Ladies, so no matter what your age, you can join in.

At our club ladies classes are on Monday night, the one day of the week I usually work for about 10 hours on my feed all day and come home totally exhausted. Dragging myself to class has been difficult some weeks and my brain has felt like mush so learning the work has not been the easiest thing I have ever done.

BUT I have stuck with it, stretching and practicing the syllabus at home and finally last Saturday the first competition of the year arrived.

This required me to –

Make sure my  hair colour was done to cover the regrowth.

Exfoliate from top to toe.

Apply 3 coats of tan for a golden glow.

Redo my gel nails as bright red with gold glitter is not a good choice as it draws attention to your hands, so pastel pink with a hint of sparkle did the trick.

Pack a days worth of food.

Make sure I had my water bottle and energy drink chilling in the fridge.

Find all my red and white gear and pack a bag with thongs and active wear.

Go to sleep acknowledging the fact that I would have to display my far from perfect body in only a leotard and fishnet stockings in front of a packed school hall the next day.

And there is more..

physie hair

My hair had to be teased beyond recognition as I have such fine hair but it needed to look as though I did.

Physie hair poof and bun

At least I look as though I actually have a decent amount of hair.

Miss WW applied enough makeup to last through the day and beyond.

Waiting though more than half the day until it was my turn to be marshalled with all the other beginner ladies and trying to keep the nerves in check.

But miracles do happen, I actually managed to get through all the work without making a mistake and was rewarded with –

winning

2nd Place……..hell yeah!!!!!

The tears pouring down my daughters face with joy as I left the floor was worth more than anything!

The next competition is next week, guess I will be doing it all over again.

If there is something you would love to do, but you keep stopping yourself because you think you are to old, just do it!

What would you love to do?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

Handy Photos You Should Take With Your Phone!

clever photo ideas for your phone

I am often grateful that Miss WW talked me into getting my iPhone with the bigger storage as I have so many photo’s. All my social media and blog pictures are taken with my phone as I am toooooo lazy to use my real camera, and remember to buy lithium batteries so that it works, and then plug it in to download them….you get the picture!

As we rarely go anywhere without our phones these days, unless we forget them, you can use your phone as a valuable reminder list without having to write a thing down, just take a photo!

Try adding some of these ideas to your photo stream instead of relying on your memory.

RECIPIES – Snap a pic of the recipe you want to try and you will have the ingredients list with you when you are shopping. Also handy if you are visiting a friend or are at the library and you just want a copy of a recipe.

WINE – If you taste a wine that you really like, take a pic of the label so you can buy some for yourself.

PRINTER CARTRIDGES – Keep a pic of your printer cartridges numeric code so you always buy the right ones.

CRAFT SUPPLIES – I have this thing for pink paint, and always seem to want to buy more. I now keep pictures of my tubes of craft paint so that I don’t buy another duplicate…or 10. This would work with beads, ribbon, wool, stickers, embroidery threads, needles, anything that you have multiple types of and could easily double up on unnecessarily.

PET ID – If your pet ever goes missing, having it’s ID details on hand could be useful.

SPICES – Snap the spice rack so you know what you actually have on hand.

MEDICATION – Pictures of your medication and required doses could be life saving to have easy access to.

MAKE UP – Handy to know what you have at home before buying a new colour.

GIFTS – When you buy gifts and hide them away and then forget you have them….yeah I have done that plenty of times.

The following could definitely come in handy but it would be advisable not to simply save them to your photo stream. Consider getting a secure app such as Locker to keep these from eyes that should not see them.

PASSPORT / DRIVERS LICENCE /CREDIT CARDS

JEWELLERY – In the event of theft or loss it can be hard proving ownership, especially if the pieces were gifts and you don’t have the receipt.

APPLIANCES – Take a photo of the serial number of all major appliances.

COLLECTIONS – If you collect stamps, models, swap cards…anything, keep a record of what you have.

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I have had plenty of ‘if only I could remember’ moments and so now I take photo’s or screen shots to help me.

What other things could be handy to add to this list?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

Margate Beach – The Perfect Family Beach Day Out In Brisbane!

When most Brisbane families think about spending the day at the beach, heading to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast would usually be their first choice.

The beautiful beaches on each coast are a big draw card, but it also means a long drive and the very probable chance of being caught in terrible traffic, which quickly turns a great day into a frustrating one.

A great alternative to battling the freeways is just north of the city at Margate!

Brisbane beaches for families

Soft sand and safe swimming is waiting for you.

There is plenty of parking right on the beachfront and if you arrive mid morning you will probably be able to score a nice shady spot up on the grass with a million dollar view and protection from the sun.

Unlike the more popular beaches close by like Redcliffe and Scarborough, it always seems to be relatively quiet at Margate Beach, but you don’t miss out on a single thing.

Pack a picnic, add a chilled bottle of wine and you will be set for the day.

If you love fish and chips or a great burger, Red Dolphin Seafoods is right on the main street facing the beach and has really good fresh food, coffee and ice creams.

Fresh fast food at Margate

#no filter needed!

Take a walk along the beach to the southern end and admire the lovely waterfront properties that have backyards the butt right on to the beach.

If you take some sturdy shoes with you, enjoy exploring the rock pools and take a fishing rod as well if you would like to try and catch your dinner.

There are BBQ facilities if you want to cook your catch straight away.

Explore the rock pools at Margate Beach

Margate Beach is 26 km North East of Brisbane City and offers beautiful views of Moreton Bay.

You can watch the planes fly in and out of Brisbane and you might ever see a cruise ship just sail on by.

Margate Village Shopping Centre is close by with a supermarket, chemist etc. incase you leave something important at home.

The next time the kids are driving you stir-crazy at home, pack up the family and head to the beach. No need to battle the traffic and you can leave the surf boards at home.

Let the kids swim and run to their hearts content and they are guaranteed to sleep well that night.

Do you ever go to local Brisbane beaches?

Which is your favourite?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess.com

Easy Ways To Decorate Your Planner Without Spending A Fortune!

easy and cheap ways to decorate your planner

Discovering the world of pretty planning is just like being a kid and walking into a lolly shop!

You just want to buy ALL. THE. THINGS!

I have joined lots of Facebook planning groups as I am continually blown away by how creative people can be, and I really enjoy my Sunday mornings that I spend decorating for the week ahead.

BUT, every day without fail though I see a post on something gorgeous that someone bought and I add it to my mental list of must haves/wants.

When I first got my Happy Planner I went a little crazy buying things.

It is simply so addictive and unless you have an unlimited budget, this hobby could easily send you broke.

Living in Australia has saved me from many a splurge as our weaker dollar and expensive shipping fees make me say NO to many temptations.

I am also a bargain queen and very rarely pay full price for anything if I can avoid it.

So I have found plenty of ways to make my planner look really lovely without having to spend a fortune each week.

SHOP WHAT YOU HAVE!

make your own planner stickers and washi

Anything made from paper that you have lying around the house can be used in your planner.

Gift Wrap – Can be cut into rectangles to fill boxes or strips to be used instead of washi tape.

Greeting Cards – Don’t throw out greeting cards, cut pretty images off them and use instead of stickers.

Magazines – Are full of images and words that can be cut out and used.

TIP – When cutting out round shapes use a small pair of nail scissors that are rounded for more neat cuts.

SCRAPBOOKING PAPER PADS

Using scrapbooking paper to decorate your planner

Scrapbooking paper pads are so cheap and come in a huge selection of colours.

A pad of 36 sheets that are 15 x 15 cm costs $3.00 and for each sheet I can cover 9 full squares in my Happy Planner.

That is 324 ‘stickers’ for a total of $3.00!

I use this paper all the time when the weekend colour scheme printed in my planner does not blend nicely with the colours I want to decorate with.

You can also use a hole punch to make small circles to use for bullet dots on your to-do/check lists.

TIP – Use roll on glue to stick paper down as it goes on so thin and neatly that you don’t risk getting gluggly bits mess up your page.

FREE PRINTABLES

an easy way to get free stickers for your planner

Every week I use a sheet of free printables to decorate my planner.

I have bought a box of blank printable sheets and was going to use them to make my own stickers, but each week I just print them on to normal paper and cut them out.

It only takes a few minutes and this has saved me a fortune.

I have got a lot of my free printables from Facebook groups, but I also have over 500 planning printables and ideas on my Pretty Planning Pinterest page, please feel free to follow it for a huge collection of freebies and awesome planning ideas.

Here’s to happy planning and saving some money along the way.

What is your favourite way to not blow the budget when decorating your planner?

Feel free to share your ideas. 🙂

30 Days Of Positive Affirmations To Grow Your Self-Confidence!

Your mind is just like a garden. Is yours full of beautiful flowers or overrun with weeds?

Past experiences, bad and good will make up the thoughts that run through your head everyday.

The quality of your thoughts will determine how you feel about yourself and how wonderful your life is.

A constant barrage of negative thoughts can be very powerful and trap you in a downward spiral very quickly.

One of my biggest battles, goes on in my head very regularly. I often doubt myself and my ability to do things.

A great idea gets stomped on quickly with a rattle of negative thoughts.

My mind is full of weeds from past experiences and hurts and when left unchecked can keep me trapped there for ages.

A quick scroll through social media and you will probably see plenty of positive quotes and affirmations, but like any thing that is going to change a bad habit or improve your positive vibration takes a lot more than a quick read and scroll on.

Positive affirmations are a powerful tool for change but they need to be a constant focus.

Below are 30 days worth of affirmations to get you started.

Each morning write the affirmation on a sticky note and put it somewhere you will see it regularly throughout the day or put it on a card that you can place in your purse or pocket.

Repeat the affirmation as often as possible during the day.

Every time a negative thought pops into your head. Take a deep breath, hold and release and then start repeating the positive affirmation.

If saying the affirmation out loud or in your head makes you feel uncomfortable (your mind is resisting the change), gently tap along your collar bone with the tops of your fingers until the feeling subsides. This simple Emotional Freedom Technique is a way of telling yourself its ok to believe this new thought and release the negative energy being held inside.

Try this for the next month and see the difference.

🙂

30 days of positive affirmations

Day 1 – I Am Loved

Day 2 – I Am Important

Day 3 – I Am Worthy Of Respect

Day 4 – There Is A Solution To Every Problem

Day 5 – I Trust The Decisions I Make

Day 6 – I Am Full Of Hope

Day 7 – I Am Strong

Day 8 – I Am Healthy

Day 9 – I Can Do Anything I Put My Mind To

Day 10 – Life Keeps Getting Better And Better

Day 11 – I See Endless Opportunities Coming To Me

Day 12 – I Am No Longer Controlled By My Past

Day 13 – I Am Worthy Of Happiness

Day 14 – I Am So Excited For All The Good Things To Come

Day 15 – I Am In Control Of My Life

Day 16 – I Am Confident

Day 17 – I Love Myself Just The Way I Am

Day 18 – I Am Good Enough

Day 19 – I Embrace My Fears Calmly

Day 20 – I Think Like A Winner

Day 21 – I Am Joyful

Day 22 – I Make Time For Things That Make Me Happy

Day 23 – I Take A Positive Step Forward Everyday

Day 24 – I Am Grateful

Day 25 – My Abundance Is Constantly Increasing

Day 26 – I Am Worthy Of Loving Relationships

Day 27 – Great Things Are Coming To Me Now

Day 28 – I Always Do The Best I Can Do

Day 29 – I Take Action And Chase My Dreams

Day 30 – I Am Absolutely Awesome

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Feel free to make your own affirmations. If there is an issue that causes you grief, write down what the issue is, then reframe it with a positive outcome.

Starting them with ‘I Am’ is a powerful way to reframe your thinking as it states that it is already yours.

Have fun, lot’s of happy thoughts and start pulling out those annoying weeds.

What is your favourite affirmation?

Or have you never really tried them?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess.com

How to turn fabric scraps into pretty puffy gift tags!

Use up your fabric scraps

I always seem to end up with loads of fabric scraps. Some of them are just too pretty to throw out.

So I sat down one afternoon and with some beads that I had in my stash and a quick bit of sewing I made these cute little puffy pillows that you can tie on to gifts.

They make great little pin cushions or can even be tied on to a key ring.

Add a couple of drops of lavender or lemongrass pure essential oil to the back of the pillow and tie to a coat hanger. This will keep things smelling sweet and will deter creepy crawlies from moving in.

SUPPLIES

Fabric scraps cut into 10 x 10 cm squares. (You can use two of the same or contrasting ones for front and back)

Selection of small beads, buttons or gems.

Matching thread.

Sewing needle and machine.

Two lengths of ribbon 15 cm in length.

Poly fibre fill.

METHOD

beading and sewing

Sew the beads on to the right side of one piece of fabric before you sew them together. It is too fiddly to try and add them after you have sewn the pillow together.

Sewing little pillows

On the back side of one piece of fabric, mark out a sewing guide so you don’t accidentally sew the whole thing together.

Lay the piece of fabric that has the beads sewn on it down on the table with the beads facing up.

Take the two pieces of ribbon and lay them down the centre of the fabric, with one pair of the ends lining up with the edge of the fabric.

Place the second piece of fabric, right side down on top of the first, so that the ribbon hangs down the centre where you will not be sewing.

Using a sewing machine or sew by hand, starting at either of the openings and working right around to the other side until you reach the opposite opening.

Tie off the thread and trim off the excess fabric on each corner.

Gently pull on the ribbon through the opening and turn the pillow inside out.

Use a knitting needle or pencil inserted in the hole to gently push the corners out and create an even square.

Break off small bits of the poly fibre fill and push it into the pillow until it is nice and full.

Gently tug on each corner of the side that is still open and tuck the fabric into place so that the edges fold into the pillow.

Using a needle and thread sew the opening together with small slip stitches and tie off.

All done!

You can whip up a batch of these in no time and have them ready for next time you have a gift to give.

What do you do with fabric scraps?

Sharing for #IBOT with EssentiallyJess

 

How To Read All The Latest Magazines For Free!

save money on magazines

I love magazines!

Sitting down with a freshly made coffee and flipping through the glossy pages is one of my favourite ways to relax.

Unfortunately this can be a very expensive habit, and lots of trees are needed to print the pretty pages.

I currently have a pile of magazines that I am going through, clipping out recipes to try, plus images and quotes/words that I use for making vision boards. When I have finished with them they all go in the recycle bin and very little is actually kept.

I first discovered online magazines a while back when I won a 12 month subscription to ‘O’ Magazine (Oprah’s mag). I have since renewed my subscription twice over, but not anymore.

Thanks to my local library.

I have been an avid library user for decades, as I always borrow a book if possible before I buy it to make sure it is a worthy investment.

My library does have racks full of magazines, but it is very rare that I manage to score a relatively recent copy.

Unless I decide to learn a new craft or something like that, I really have no interest in magazines that are a year or two old.

When I visited the e-magazine section online of my local library, I discovered 150 titles to pick from!

The latest editions of all my favourites magazines are mine to read with a single click.

Best of all I can have access to as many editions as I like, with no return dates and no overdue or lost book fees (yes we have had that happen and found it 6 months later under the front seat of the car).

You will need a good internet connection with plenty of GB’s available to make use of this as most magazines are image heavy and can be quite a few megabytes each or you could end up paying more than the cover price in excess download charges.

Check out your local library online and see if they offer the same, which you would think they should, and while you are at it, grab an ebook or 20 as there are plenty of those available too. This could be the perfect way to learn something new or just make it easier to head to the local coffee shop with your ipad or laptop instead of a pile of magazines.

Now to decide what I want to download first…….so many choices!

Are you a magazine addict too?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess.com

School Holiday Activities In Sydney The Whole Family Will Love!

What to do in Sydney during the school holidays

 

 

Sydney is such an amazing city to spend time in with your family. There are so many exciting things to do; the hardest part will be deciding how much you can actually fit in. Together with Accor Hotels we have compiled a fabulous list of school holiday activities in Sydney that will help you create wonderful memories that your family will talk about for years to come.

ENJOYING THE GREAT OUTDOORS ON A SUNNY DAY IN SYDNEY

If the weather forecast is for blue sky then make the most of it and get out and about and enjoy it. Don’t forget to wear really comfortable walking shoes, a hat and slap on plenty of sunscreen.

One of the easiest ways to get around Sydney is to use the fabulous ferry service. Traffic in Sydney can be really bad and you don’t want to spend too much of your day just getting to your destination. You will be treated to the most magnificent views of Sydney Harbour on the way and it is a really affordable way to get from the CBD to outer suburb attractions.

Taronga Zoo is home to over 4000 animals and is located in Mosman just 12 minutes by ferry.   Fill your day wandering around the beautiful enclosures or participate in a variety of interactive opportunities to get up close to awesome wildlife. There will be plenty of beautiful photo opportunities with the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as a back drop. Kids of all ages who love going on rides will have the best day at Luna Park which is just across the harbor at Milsons Point. Roller coasters, the Ferris wheel and even a haunted house will keep them busy for the day.

No visit to Sydney would be complete without spending some time at one of the most famous beaches in the world, Bondi! Just 8 km from the CBD, there are bus services that run every 15 minutes from the city.  There is a huge variety of restaurants and café’s to choose from when the kids get hungry. How could you beat eating fish and chips sitting on the sand at one of the most photographed beaches in Australia?

RAINY DAY SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN IN SYDNEY

Don’t let grey clouds and rain stop your family from having a wonderful day. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is centrally located at Darling Harbour. Learn all about aquatic animals and even enjoy a glass bottom boat ride.  If the kids really want to swim, the Aquatic Centre at Sydney Olympic Park has a fun water playground and pool that is heated all year-round.

Inquisitive young minds will enjoy the Experimentation exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo. This hands-on display is a great way to learn about science and how things work. There are other fun exhibits that change a regularly. At the moment enjoy a life size Lego display of super heroes and little ones will be captivated by the Wiggles display plus so much more.

For a unique shopping experience, a visit to Paddy’s Market in Haymarket is just a short walk from Central Station. It is the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs, clothing, handbags, makeup, jewellery and toys in a large market atmosphere. Open on Wednesdays through to Sundays the upper levels have become home to many brand name outlet stores, so there really is something for everyone.

Have a look at this great list that has some more suggestions including some free activities so the budget can have a break for the day.

 School holiday activities Sydney by Accorhotels.com

Get all the details about these Great School Holiday Activities in Sydney here.

When you are planning which school holiday activities you will enjoy in Sydney, make sure you leave one day free to enjoy a big long walk on along the harbour’s edge to soak in the stunning views and maybe even watch a cruise ship or two sail on in.

What is your favourite way to keep the kids happy during the holidays?

Pretty ways to decorate eggs for Easter!

When I want some inspiration for the holidays I cant resist scrolling through my Pinterest feed.

Over the last few weeks, so many lovely Easter eggs have caught my eye.

These eggs are easy to make and will look lovely in the centre of your table.

Even the most craft challenged could whip these up in a flash.

TIFFANY INSPIRED EGGS

Tiffany blue and gold eggs would make a very classy addition to the Easter table.

decorate eggs for easter

Directions can be found here.

KEEP IT NATURAL

If you like to keep glitter and sparkle out of your decorating theme, these would be the perfect choice.

Whilst it may not be spring in our part of the world, it is still warm enough to feel like it.

keep it natural this easter

Instructions can be found here.

ALL THAT GLITTERS

If it involves glitter, I am in.

Glitter and glue instantly transform the humble egg into something rather wow!

glittery easter eggs

How to can be found here.

PRETTY PRINTS

Serviettes are great way to add pretty prints to your eggs.

As the paper is so thin, it is easy to glue down and bend to mold the shape of the egg.

decorate for easter

Hints for these eggs and 79 other ways to decorate them can be found here.

MINIMALIST MAGIC

The modern home does not have to avoid Easter decorating.

It is not all about pastels.

Get out the sharpie and go for it.

minimalist modern easter eggs

Details can be found here.

WORKING WITH WASHI

Washi tape is the best crafting invention since sticky tape.

Available in every craft store and cheap shop, the colours and designs are huge.

If you can wield a small pair of scissors, then these will be a cinch.

washi tape easter egg decorating

If you want instructions get them here.

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For more Easter ideas you can pop over to my Pinterest board.

Do you decorate for Easter?

What is your favourite Easter treat?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.

How To Help Your Teen Study Successfully!

great study tips for teens

It’s that time of the year, kids all around the country are heading back to school.

Whilst many parents will be jumping for joy, most teens will definitely not be.

My ‘baby’ is certainly one of those, as she heads into Year 12.

Not all teens are academically inclined, but with some good study skills, they can still do their very best.

Five years ago my eldest daughter decided to apply for entry into the Queensland Academy For Maths, Science and Technology. She was successful and spent Years 10, 11 and 12 completing her high schooling doing the incredibly tough IB curriculum.

There were many times she felt like quitting, but thankfully she didn’t and one of the most invaluable things she learnt was fabulous study skills that helped her cope then and now as she enters her 3rd year at UQ studying a Bachelor Of Science, step one on her way to being a Neuro surgeon.

1. Have a dedicated study space – Ideally every teen should have a desk in their room, but if that is not possible, the dining room table will do the job, just try and ensure there is a clear space for your child to spread out and work.

2. Stock up on supplies – One of the best excuses to stop studying is not having the right supplies, I mean you can’t possibly keep working unless you have a 0.5mm graphite lead mechanical pencil that is in a pink case, ahhh try another one sweetie! I always stocked up on extra stationary at the back to school sales and kept them in a large plastic tub.

3. Bite sized chunks – High school assignments can be very daunting and as the days tick by towards the due date, so many kids procrastinate as they struggle to even know where to start. Breaking a big task down into small steps and focusing on completing on a little bit at the time can make all the difference and avoid that last minute panic when it is due.

4. Keep your eye out for distractions – If you have to confiscate their phone, do it! Texting buddies or scrolling through Facebook will suck away at time. Both of my girls do enjoy having music playing in the background when they are studying, but only accessed from their playlist not multiple trips to Youtube to find a new song.

5. Help them stay focused – Especially around exam time, I put an aromatherapy burner on in their rooms with a blend of basil and lemon. This combination is great for helping them stay focused and alert. Using any of the citrus essential oils are great for lifting spirits and creating a positive vibe in their room.

6. Get more help from Google – It is not uncommon for a child to not quite grasp a concept or idea. This can often have to do with the teaching style being delivered and many teens are embarrassed to ask for more help in front of their peers. Help your child discover the wonders of Google and the incredible selection of information available. My girls have often had breakthroughs by listening to someone else deliver the same information but in a different way.

7. Staying hydrated – Drinking lot’s of water is one of the easiest ways to give yourself an energy boost. If your teen complains about being tired, apart from making sure they go to bed at a decent hour, is to give them a big glass of water to drink.

Both of my girls have done really well at school, not because they are exceptionally gifted, they have to work for their good marks. I have worked really hard at keeping the lines of communication open and my girls talk to me about everything. This helps me know where they are at, what is irking them and what their workload is. There have been meltdowns and tears, but together we have found solutions and got the job done.

I want my girls to have careers that they are proud of and bring them joy. Good grades simply means more options for them to pick from.

What clever tips can you add to the list?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

Valuable Life Skills For Teens!

My girls are growing up fast.

I am so used to saying I have two teen girls, but in a few days my eldest turns 20.

As much as I love having them both living at home, the reality is that over the next few years, their time will come to move in with their friends and leave this mumma bear alone.

Unlike real bears who teach their young early in life how to survive out in the big wide world, this mumma has perfectionist tendencies and will often do everything myself so that it is done the way I like it.

So I have been taking stock and making notes of skills that will help them cope with life when I am not there to do it all for them.

I want my girls to be self sufficient and not rely on others and not running home to mum every time a button falls off.

Prepeare teens for the real world

1. TREAT YOUR JOB WITH RESPECT – Both of my girls were eager to get part time jobs and earn money. Both of them have had jobs since they were 15. They have days where they don’t feel like going to work, but unless you are really sick, in this house you show up! There is no ‘but my friends are going out’ or ‘I am so tired I just want to stay in bed’ excuses here. If you take on the responsibility of a job, you do your absolute best at all times and show up on time!

2. BANKING AND BILL PAYING – Thanks to internet banking, controlling income, savings and expenses is easy. Both girls have mastered this skill and are now very savvy savers. They have a main account with interest earning sub-accounts attached. Pressing a few buttons on pay day sees most of their funds transferred straight into their sub-accounts. If their card accounts are hacked there is very little funds sitting in there to be swiped. It is not uncommon to see either of the girls madly transferring money quickly to make even a small purchase. They both have great savings savvy and this will help set them up for a bright financial future. Miss WW (19) has her own car so has a separate account to cover the costs and is only comfortable if she has a month in advance sitting there just in case.

3. CREDIT CARDS CAN BE DANGEROUS! – Miss WW has already seen her friends jump up and down for joy on receipt of a credit card with a big limit and before they know it, it is full! She wisely decided to get a student card with a limit of $1000.00. From the very beginning she learnt that paying it off on the due date meant no interest payments. Her credit rating is starting to build and with no defaults she is setting herself up perfectly for when it is time to buy her first home.

4. YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO BOIL MORE THAN JUST WATER – Coming from a family of really good cooks, there is not much that I can’t create in the kitchen. My girls are used to eating really well. Relying on take away and package food is not good for the budget or the waist line, so basic cooking skills are a must. Teaching them a good basic repertoire of meals will ensure they eat well. I have started compiling a recipe book (at their request) so that when they do leave home, they will have be able to create nutritious food that is quick and easy.

5. IF IT’S DIRTY, CLEAN IT! – Clothes baskets don’t empty themselves and there are no cleaning fairies that come to visit this house. Teens need to know how to make the washing machine actually do it’s thing, that a full dishwasher needs to be turned on and if they make a mess on the kitchen bench it is their job to wipe it clean. I have stopped emptying the rubbish bins in their rooms and other little things like that so they have to do it themselves.

6. SIMPLE STITCHES – Just because a button fell off does not mean the shirt has to go in the bin. Wielding a needle and thread is really easy if you know how. Tacking up a quick hem rather than using sticky tape or stapler yields a much better result too. Since becoming a single mum I have had to perfect the use of a screwdriver and know what on earth a Philips head is. Yay for not letting flat packs get the better of me. The girls won’t have to be scared to go to Ikea for furniture.

7. MINI MECHANICALS – Putting air in tyres, checking oil levels and refilling the reservoir for your windscreen wipers will help keep them safer on the roads, how to change light bubs and that there are two different kinds will help them see in the dark. Cleaning filters will help vacuums and computers run more efficiently. Removing built up bread crumbs from the toaster may help avoid a fire. Descaling kettles and coffee machines make your hot drinks taste better. Filling up the ice cube trays will ensure your cold drinks stay that way.

8. NEVER LEAVE YOUR MANNERS AT HOME – Mobile phones do not belong at the dinner table, please and thank you never go out of style, play fair, think before you speak as you can never take words back and get off your butt if something needs doing, so not expect anyone else to be your servant.

What do you wish your mum had taught you before you left home?

What else can I add to this list?

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