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?

What would you do with a BILLION dollars?

Lotto fever is taking over the world this week as the biggest prize is up for grabs this Thursday!

$1.3 billion big reasons why so many people want a ticket.

Billion dollar lotto prize

That is a lot of coin!

Unlike Australia, lotto prizes in the USA are taxed, but hey, you would still receive approximately $880 million and with our underwhelming Australian dollar you would receive an equivalent of about $1.2 billion AUD.

Those numbers seem pretty damn good to me.

You would get your name on the Forbes Rich List overnight.

BUT what to do with such a huge sum of money?

You could follow the golden rule of winning big money and not losing it within the first 12 months (which happens to many big prize winners) and that is to spend half and save half.

Even with our measly interest rates, a simple term deposit of $500 million would net you $12.5 million per annum. Even after tax I could live on that.

All my dreams would become an instant reality.

Actually I would have to rethink them and blow them even bigger.

My family would want for nothing.

All the travel destinations on my list would get ticked off.

My favourite charitable organisations would not know what hit them when my cheques arrived in the mail.

 I would also set up my own.

There would be time to craft, read and drink cocktails staring at oceans.

Retreats, conferences and masterminds would be scheduled in without a second thought.

New skills would be learned.

Yes, I have got a ticket in the draw.

 Thanks to lottoland.com.au, Aussies can buy a ticket in this mega dream.

What would you do with that much cash?

Opallac Gel Polish Kit Review

Beautifully polished nails are my thing!

I have been blessed with nails that grow quickly and are nice and strong.

 Once a week I diligently paint them but have never actually gone and had my nails professionally done, even though I have admired the lovely finish you get from gel polish.

Keeping them polished is a priority for me as my day job is very unkind to nails and if I have them bare, they break way too easily.

My very clever girls found the perfect Christmas present for me this year…..the Opallac Gel Polish Kit.

Gel nails at home with Opallac

Everything you need to have gorgeous gel nails in one kit!

For around the same price as two visits to the nail salon, you can do it yourself for months!

In the kit you receive –

1 x Opallac LED nail lamp

1 x Gel Base Coat

3 x  Gel Colours (a pale pink, a hot pin and a red)

1 x Gel Top Coat

1 x 2-in-1 Shine & Soak Solution

1 x 30pk Remover Wraps

1 x Nail File

1 x Buffing Block

1 x Full colour, step-by-step Instruction Guide.

***

I pre-read the instructions carefully and got a few tips from a friend of mine who used to be a beauty therapist.

The golden rule seems to be, use THIN coats for each layer, which goes against how I usually apply polish as I like it to look thick and glossy.

I did do as I was told and within 15 minutes I had the most beautiful nails that I could do anything with, no smudges, streaks or mess-ups!

They did look absolutely fabulous.

Will they stay looking good or like most normal polishes only great for a day or two?

Fabulous gel nails at home

10 days later and they are still shiny, glossy, chip free and zero wear on the tips, winning!

I always like to add glitter to my ring fingers, and as the kit did not come with glitter polish I took the chance and just painted one of my polishes onto the nail after the process was finished. It adhered perfectly and is holding out just as well as the gel.

Opallac nail polish colours

I will definitely be expanding my colour collection and including some of the great glitter options that are available.

This kit is certainly one of the best pressies I have ever received and works exactly as promised.

You can shop online (Aussie company) or call into Priceline to purchase these products.

Was definitely feeling a little sad when I thought about all the lovely nail polishes I have in my collection, but I was advised to not use the gel system on my toes, so will keep using normal polish on my tootsies and keep the gel for my fingers.

Do you do gel nails?

Sharing for #IBOT at Essentially Jess.com

One Small Word – 2016

As the New Year approaches, spend any time on the internet and you will probably see a barrage of posts about ‘One Word’.

In case you don’t know what this is all about, quite simply you pick a single word as a point of focus for the year ahead.

I have played along with this for the last couple of years, but like many things you start off all hyped about a New Year and then you fall back into the same old habits by about the 15th of January…..if you even make it that far.

I am tired of playing the same old game, year in, year out.

As the saying goes “Nothing changes unless you do”.

I am long overdue for change, I don’t want another year like I just had.

I don’t want another year of not feeling good, of being my own worst enemy, of allowing the negative committee to have control in my brain, of feeling stuck, of procrastinating over everything for so long because I am such a perfectionist.

I want change.

I want things to be different.

I do not want to get to New Years Eve at the end of this year and feel as though I have achieved practically nothing.

So I thought long and hard about one word that I could focus on, that I could use when I had to make choices and that could help steer me in a better feeling direction.

I got one!

Nourish vision board

I have made myself a mini vision board that now stares at me every time I sit at my desk.

NOURISH

Reminds me to make better food choices and eat less sugar.

Reminds to drink more water.

Reminds me to take my vitamins everyday.

Reminds me to make time for what I love doing without feeling guilty.

Reminds me to focus on what will be best for me.

Reminds me to take some big deep breaths, often.

Reminds me to drink champagne regularly. 🙂

Reminds me to make time to actually sit and enjoy my coffee, instead of practically inhaling it whilst planning what to do next.

Reminds me to make time to catch up on the pile of books I want to read.

Reminds me to make time for fun.

Reminds me to spend more time at the beach (my happy place).

Just one word, encompasses everything I need to do to feel good in mind, body & spirit.

Have you got ‘One Word’ to guide you through 2016?

Goodbye 2015!

Another year has flown by.

I honestly wish I could say it was an awesome year, full of wonderful successes and joyful moments, but I would be lying.

It has honestly been a hard slog.

I can be my own worst enemy and this year I proved how damn good I am at it.

Lots of plans were made, but procrastination and the need for perfection has stopped them becoming reality.

So next year it is time to do things differently and I will be embracing change.

But I need to say goodbye to 2015, remember all the good that came with it, and then give it a big fat kiss and send it on it’s way.

***

The year started out so awesomely and with so much promise.

I turned the big 5-0 and went to Adelaide with the girls to stay with a very good friend who treated us like royalty.

Turning 50

Lots of Moet was drunk, shops scoured, the sun kept on shining and I got to see the Panda’s at Adelaide Zoo which was just awesome!

***

Two weeks later Miss WW turned 19 and we had a fabulous cocktail party for her that was a big success.

Not long after she got a brand new car…..love that smell.

Brand New Car

***

Early in the year I accidentally stumbled upon a whole new world of planning and organising.

Decorative planning takes keeping a diary to a whole new level.

I joined a heap of Facebook groups as I tried to decide if this was for me.

Thanks to a wonderful lady in the USA, I was gifted a Happy Planner as she had a spare and wanted it to go to someone overseas who did not have access to all the goodies that they have. She picked me, yay!

Decorative planning in the Happy Planner

This is my final week for the year. This planner is an 18 month one, so I still have 12 months to go.

My love for crafting and staying organised has made a huge difference in keeping my life under control.

Every Sunday morning I decorate for the week ahead and I write down everything I have to remember. Since starting this I have for the first time ever actually used a diary for what it is meant to be. In prior years I have always bought a diary and used it faithfully for about 2 weeks and then nothing.

***

The middle of the year brought a blow I was not expecting. My ex decided to leave his well paying job and start a lawn mowing business.

Goodbye child support payments.

Just another reminder that the lovely man I married and had two gorgeous children with continues his downward spiral into a self-centred, alcoholic asshole!

***

In July Miss WW (Jnr) turned 16 and after a music themed ‘surprise’ party that her friends organised at my house, promptly got her learners permit…..here we go again!

Music themed birthday party

The guitar shaped cake was made by a friends mum and was really cool.

***

The last quarter of the year started with a visit to the Emergency department as I was turning a horrible shade of yellow.

The doctors were convinced I had a tumour on my liver, but after 5 days of fasting and every test known to man, they discovered I had a very angry gallbladder that had completely blocked my bile duct.

Surgery a month later removed that sucker and I am now part of the medical teaching video collection as my case was quite unique.

***

In the middle of all of this we had to head south.

Miss WW (Snr) is a Physie girl, dance is her creative outlet and each year we have to travel to Sydney every October for Nationals qualifying.

Thanks to a horrible knee injury, she did not make it through. So our next trip to Sydney and the Opera House did not happen. Super sad face.

***

The festive season rolled on in, but the fun was cut very short when I got one of those early morning calls that nobody wants to receive.

My father had a massive stroke and was not expected to make it through the day.

I honestly thought we would be planning a funeral, not feasting and celebrating as our family usually does.

With luck on our side and my father being very strong and fit, he is still with us and best of all he was released from rehab on Christmas Eve.

His body is working really well and his brain is trying to re-route and repair.

We did have a wonderful Christmas and we are beyond grateful that he was there to share it with us.

***

The Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year.

Decluttering has begun in earnest.

 I have been holding on to things that should have left my space a long time ago. A trip to the tip with a car full felt fabulous!

Goodbye 2015, your lessons have been learned, bring on 2016!

Did you have an awesome year or did it not quite live up to your plans?

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