Friday, November 30, 2012

#OperationMOVE - This is why.

Back at the start of Spring I set myself a goal. I wanted to be able to run around the lake (6kms) a couple of times a week by today.

Instead I discovered that running outdoors wasn't the great chore I imagined, it is in fact something that I have grown to love. I've not run around the lake in one go at all, but I am doing 10km stretches of intervals (for a total of 7.5kms actual running time) and I am ready to step it up a level.


And here is one of the reasons I love using Runkeeper to track my activities:

My pace and endurance have improved enormously, and so has my sense of self.

I spent a lot of my life exercising to punish my body for what I had consumed.

Today I exercise to reward it with strength and that amazing high I feel when I've smashed out a personal best.

Some days are a real struggle and I wonder if it is worth it. Then I look at how far I have come and I know I deserve to feel this good about myself. I have earned it.

What changes do you see and feel as result of #OperationMOVE? Will you be joining us for the Silly Season? If so make sure to pop in tomorrow as I'm launching the Summer program with some exciting new changes in place!

This is where we stood at the end of last week. The final tally for November will be released tomorrow along
with our RedBalloon winner for the month!

It's the final check in for the Spring series, so tell me your numbers!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Half a lifetime...

I changed schools at the end of year 11. On my first day of Year 12 a girl came up to me nervously and said 'I think I kissed your boyfriend'.

As it turned out, although we'd broken up since she had in fact kissed him while we were together. The difference between him and her is that he was one of those guys and she didn't know he had a girlfriend. That and she actually told me about it.

2002ish. Back when cameras mostly used film. Old school.
The other difference is that I haven't seen that guy in close to two decades. I see her at least once a week. We moved just down the road from her. She has been my other sister... Truly the family that I got to choose (although I really love the three sisters that I didn't choose too). She is godmother to my children, because I trust her and she loves them like we do.

With our Big Boy when he was a very very little boy <3
For half of my life she has been my rock. When I broke up with boyfriends she was there to tell me that they sucked anyway. When I got married she was my maid of honour. When my babies were born she was one of the first we called and to come and meet them. When things get tough she is always there, no matter what is going on in her own life.

My youngest and her eldest are six weeks apart in age. I love that they will grow up together and while I'm not looking forward to the inevitable barneys between them as life rolls on I am so happy that theirs will be a lifetime friendship.

The next generation...
She's expecting her second baby any day now, and I am so excited that this time I can actually be here for her and help out in a way I couldn't when we lived so far apart.

I talk about the people I love a fair bit here. And when she has our her baby I've no doubt it will feature as well, because already I love him or her with all my heart.

Some friendships last a season. Some last a decade. Others last for life and I am blessed to be part of one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Buff & Polish - aka The Tightarse Guide to the Home Dayspa

My last experience of a day spa was a long time ago. 2004 to be precise, when I spent a day being pampered with my beautiful butterfly friend just prior to her wedding.

That's a really long time between professional polishes huh?

I'm a bit of an expert at the DIY version though... And because my budget doesn't stretch to posh gear I have a whole body polish system going that I don't need to spend a cent on. I thought I'd share in case you haven't seen any day spa action lately either.

Image Source

For a Buff Bod:

Sugar is your friend. No really.

Grab a cup and fill it about a third with normal boring white refined sugar. You can use caster sugar if you prefer.

Splodge in a decent dollop of whatever moisturiser you have handy. Sorbolene works great! Mix them together, jump in the shower and give yourself a good rub down all over for the cheapest and easiest body exfoliant ever.

Great one for pre fake tanning by the way! Helps your tan last longer and go on more evenly too.

If you have time (and no kids harassing you) run a gorgeous bath and pour in a good cup or more of full cream milk. If you have a fave aromatherapy oil at hand add a couple of drops of that too and soak like you think you're Cleopatra. Good for the soul as well as the skin.

Sparkling Skin:

If you have sensitive skin you might wanna skip this. I do it once a week or so but wouldn't any more than that.

Grab a cup or shallow bowl and pop a couple of tablespoons of plain baking soda in it. Add enough water to make a thick paste.

While you are in the shower, gently massage the paste over your face (being careful to avoid the eye area) then rinse thoroughly.

Mmmm soft skin. Nice.

If you love a face mask, try mashing half an avocado and mixing it with a teaspoon of honey then apply to your face. Leave on for ten minutes then rinse.

Follow up with lashings of your fave moisturiser.

Fabulous Feet:

I love doing this on child care days when I have a spare half hour. So relaxing and makes me feel like I'm cherishing myself a little. My feet take an absolute pounding and deserve to be looked after. So do yours!

Grab a decent sized tub (that will fit both feet in). Get an old towel and put it on the floor in front of your comfiest chair and near your telly/laptop/bookcase.

Fill the tub around half way (depending on its size) with warm water and put it on the towel.

If your kids have marbles go grab a bag and empty them into the tub, along with a cup of milk.

Stick your feet in the tub, sit back and relaaaaaaxxxxx a spell. Roll the marbles around with your feet for some sweet massagesque action.

If you're motivated, seal the deal with a good moisturizing product and a lick of nailpolish when you're all relaxed and the water has started to cool.

Voila. Cheap, easy and lovely right?

Do you have any great DIY day spa tips?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Conversations with my son.

On the way home from child care the other day my Little Mate was full of chat.

He'd had a great day and wanted to make sure I knew about it.

After telling me who changed his nappy and about the green bike that he loves the best, we had the following conversation about his favourite buddy:

LM: Mummy I go see Opo?
K: Yes, you can see Opo one day.
LM: Yeah Tuesday!
K: Maybe
LM: I wanna see Opo yesterday!
K: We'll see Opo sometime soon okay?
LM: No wuhwees darying.

Oh my heart.

My boy has made such great leaps since he started in care. His speechie has sessions with him there fortnightly but it is more than that. His eye contact has improved markedly. He initiates conversations. He warms up to new people more quickly. He even gave my gorgeous friend Suz a high five the other day at the end of an event and it was the first time he had met her!

I sometimes miss these developments because I spend every day with him, but every now and then I am struck by the changes that are happening. He still has some tough days at care but overall he loves it and is thriving. It was a very good decision despite my early misgivings.

That conversation wouldn't have happened six months ago. Not even three months ago.

My little boy is growing up. These gains are hard earned, and I could not be prouder of him.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wreaking Havoc

Nearly a year ago now I wrote about how much my boys loved their Havoc Denim pants.

They have in fact been loved to death since then. My Little Mate still wears his even though they are on the tight side and have a hole in one knee. That's how much he loves the softness of the denim.

This Summer my Little Miss Thing (and her Mama) are loving on Havoc Denim all over again. Can you see why?

I adore playsuits for little people. I also adore denim and ruffles. Match made in heaven! This suit is a size 2 and quite generous on my girl which I love because I can see she'll get loads of wear through the Summer and well into Autumn with some layering going on. Plus, it is just gorgeous!

I also love that Havoc Denim pieces are both funky and functional. I'm more than happy for my kids to run and play and get messy and have fun in this gear as children are meant to do. It washes and wears well whilst standing out for originality of design.

I'm short on words, because I truly think the pictures speak for themselves.

Do you have a special little person to purchase for this Christmas? I am giving away a $200 Havoc Denim Voucher to one lucky reader so you can spoil some of your small loved ones too!

To enter please leave a comment telling me which item you love best from the Havoc Denim range and why. This is a game of skill so be creative!

Then just use the nifty widget below to validate your entry. Easy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We received some gorgeous Havoc Denim gear for the purpose of this review. No payment was offered or accepted and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I once knew a mushroom. He was a fun guy.

Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

My kids are really thingy about mushrooms. The Supertrucker and I LOVE them, they do not love them at all. But as we've discovered with many other veggies, there is something magical about growing them yourself that makes them suddenly more palatable. I'm hoping we will find this to be true for the mushies as well.

I always thought growing mushrooms would be really tricky and lots of work for not much gain. All the stories of dark rooms and certain temperatures and blah blah blah. It would appear I was wrong!

There is this awesome new product called Fungi Culture that helps your kids grow their own gourmet pearl oyster mushrooms, and it could not be easier!

You get this box:

Then you take off the top tab, cut a + shape in the bag inside and mist with water two or three times a day.

That's it. How easy?!

I'd love to show you photos of our stunning mushroom crop but it is too soon for that. Fear not though, once those fun guys show their faces I will be popping them up on my Facebook page for sure. I have an ulterior motive for doing so as well, because for each photo shared on the Fungi Culture Facebook page of your fruiting mushrooms, the company will send a kit to the classroom of your choice so even more kids can learn about the fun of growing your own food!

The kits are very affordable and I think would make a brilliant Christmas present for a kid in your life... definitely better value than a noisy plastic fantastic toy that will drive parents nuts (unless you don't like the parents, in which case, you know...).

Would you like some fun in your fungi?

I have four kits to give away so you can test the premise that kids are happier to eat what they have grown themselves too!

To enter, tell me about your favourite fungi and how you like to eat it. This is a game of skill so be creative!

The competition will close at 5pm on Saturday  December 1st and the winner will be contacted by email within 24 hours.

Good luck!

Disclosure: we received two kits for my big kits to have fun with. No payment was offered or accepted and all opinions (and bad jokes) are my own.

Friday, November 23, 2012

#OperationMOVE: Maintaining Motivation when the Season gets Silly

I have no idea where this year has gone. None at all.

I do know that December means parties and barbecues and all sorts of fun stuff and that it would be very easy to just 'take a month off'. The problem with that is of course a month would become two months, then three, then I'd have to start all over again.

I've worked too hard for that. So have you.

I asked last week if anyone would be keen to continue on with #OperationMOVE through the coming months and got a resounding yes from most of you, which has given me a great big happy!

Every time I think I can't be bothered going for a run and I'll catch it up later, I think of you all and how underwhelmingly inspirational of me that would be, and I just do it. It is YOU that keeps me moving, and I hope you are all feeling the same!

So next week we'll have our final check in for the month (time to get your skates on if you have some catching up to do!) and I'll be launching #OperationMOVE for the Silly Season.

I have some really exciting changes to share that will hopefully make it easier to keep going during a really busy time of year for most of us. I'd love to see Summer be our best combined effort yet, so if you know of anyone who could benefit from joining us please send them this way!

In the meantime, CHECK IN! Please leave your achievements for the week in the comments and I'll be loading up the pretty table around 8.30 tonight.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hitting the Target

My Grandpa was wise and wonderful. As any one of his 17 grandchildren would attest, he was a caring and thoughtful man who is missed greatly by all of us.

When I was in Year 7 I desperately needed wanted an Esprit t-shirt. All the cool kids had them, if I didn't have one too I would surely shrivel up and die. They were very expensive... $40 (and this was in 1989, so probably equivalent to about 8 million now). I finally talked my Mum in to getting me one for Christmas and I wore it with great pride.

When my Grandpa saw it he asked me how much I was being paid to wear it, because surely we would not pay to be blatantly advertising a brand. I can't remember my actual 13 year old reaction but I'm sure there was some internal eye rolling and inner dialogue about how old folks just don't get it.

These days Grandpa, I get it.

I am lucky enough to be invited to lots of blogger events. Truly blessed. They are pretty much always in Melbourne though and these days I need to think really carefully about whether to go or not. By the time I get there I've spent $50 on diesel and around 4 hours of my time, so I need to know it is worth it for me and for you too. Some are fantastic, some are quite disappointing. Occasionally one is excellent such as the Target event I attended this morning.

Aside from the fact that they made it so easy to say yes by covering the cost of my transport and parking, it was heaps of fun and pretty exciting too. Truly a well produced, informative and enjoyable experience. I had my little two with me (which I try to avoid given my Little Mate's issues with routine changes, new places and new people) but they were made to feel welcome as well and the organisers were clearly familiar with my blog and my children as they were very sympathetic and caring when my boyo was having a hard time now and then.

We were priveleged to see some of the brand new releases for Target in December and I have to tell you, I see loads of clothes for Christmas presents in my kids' futures!

The Target range is as hardy and sensible as always, but there are some fantastic new colours and styles (yes even for the boys - hooray!). My little two come home from child care absolutely filthy most days which tells me they had a great time, but means I want to dress them inexpensively and sensibly for lots of active play. These clothes fit that bill perfectly for me.

We also got to have a play with the new Collette Dinnigan range for girls. Oh. Em. Gee. The dresses are DIVINE. And because they range from 2-7 in sizes I could totally dress both my daughters in them. Dear friends, someone please get married, invite us somewhere really special or give me any little excuse to buy them for my girls please? They are remarkably reasonably priced with many under $50 as well. Wish I could dress designer for that price!

This dress... I want one in my size!
Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!

Also new to Target is the Ksubi range coming soon, and I LOVE that there are so many great colours and designs hitting the shelves for the boys as well as the girls. I've spent a lot of years being so bored by boys clothing choices, it is great to finally have some fun with them as well!

YEAH for bright and bold!
But the best best thing?

I have a Little Mate who is Cars obsessed. You know that already. In point of fact at the event today every single item of clothing he had on including his hat and socks were from Target and Cars licensed. We call it his uniform. Once upon a time I had some *issoes* with licensed clothing. These days I will do a lot of things to make that kid happy, and if he needs to McQueen every day then so be it.

Anyway there are these new T's coming out... augmented reality t-shirts. It's kind of hard to show in photos but I will try...

A perfectly ordinary Cars t-shirt right? Wrong. There is some sort of magic in it!
When you run the (free) iPad app and hold it in front of the image on the t-shirt McQueen comes to life!
Zooms around the screen and all sorts of stuff. Unreal.
Seriously, I know I sound old but what will they think of next?! I know a boy who will find one of these under the Christmas tree this year, he thought it was just awesome!

I don't often write about events, but there was so much cool stuff I wanted to share from today. I'm looking forward to being child free one day next week and getting my shop on!

Disclosure: I was under no obligation whatsoever to write this post. I had a fantastic time with lovely people and was inspired to share it. We did receive the costs of our transport and Target gift cards which was a really lovely surprise. Well done and thankyou Target and 360 Immerse!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When it isn't just the baby blues...

Hindsight is a very fine thing.

If you had asked me up until quite recently what my personal experience of depression was, I would have told you I hadn't any.

I would have been lying, albeit inadvertantly.

I've very recently been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and minor depression, and am being treated for these. But the thing that has occurred to me is that this isn't the first time I have felt like this.

I don't do pregnancy well. In particular that of my third baby was incredibly difficult. My normally extroverted self turned into a hermit. Leaving the house felt like a massive effort and even talking to my friends put such a strain on me. Had it not been for needing to chase my other two children around I'd never have gotten out of bed at all.

At the time I put it down to hormones, tiredness, all that fun stuff. In hindsight I see there was more to it than that... I do not cope with the loss of control over my body that comes with pregnancy and whilst I envied those glowing goddesses who made it look easy, aside from the beautiful baby kicks I hated it and myself a great deal.

Postnatal depression is (thankfully) widely known about these days. Antenatal depression not so much. And with the knowledge I now have of myself, I think it is safe to say that I had it.

I am one of those people who adores having a newborn. Possibly because the hormonal shift meant that those feelings of misery and inadequacy left within days of the birth. I find caring for a very new baby far easier than coping with being pregnant, and these days I am pretty sure that is as much due to the improvement in my headspace as much as adoration for tiny new beings.

This week is about raising awareness of postnatal depression in our society. I'd like to think we can raise awareness of antenatal depression also... not all expectant mothers glow, and even those that do may have lost some of their inner shine. Take the time to talk to your friends and loved ones and seek help where it is needed.

This week is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. You can find out more about the signs, symptoms and how we can help raise awareness at the PANDA website.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to swim with sharks without getting your hair wet.

AKA how to scare yourself silly in just one hour.

I had a really full on time last week. We had appointments, the Supertrucker had surgery on his ankle and it was just general one of those crazy ones that you have sometimes. Which was really handy because up until Thursday night I managed to kind of forget that on Friday I would be GETTING IN A GIANT FISHTANK WITH SHARKS AND STINGRAYS.

Caps totally justified methinks. Because on the way to the city on Friday I was freaking out altogether, on the verge of throwing up with nerves. I brought my big kids along for the adventure (and to prove that despite their comments to the contrary I am a very cool Mum). My Big Boy helpfully read to me about how to fend off a shark attack from his animal dictionary on the way in. Yeah. Thanks mate.

Because I am a rubbish city driver we were running horrifically late, which did nothing to soothe my jangled nerves. I literally dumped my kids and hoped that my sister would find them (she did, don't worry) and bolted in to the briefing room at Dive Headquarters to learn all the hand signals. Nifty things like 'abort dive' and 'no air'. Good to know, but I'd prefer not to need to know, you know?

I had a little bit of time before my dive so hung out with my sister, bigs and nephews at the aquarium trying not to think too much about large wet animals with big teeth. I looked a bit like this:

See how I'm trying to hide my nerves by being silly, and not really succeeding?
Time flies when you don't really want it to, so I headed to the meeting point to get suited up in the ubersexy dive gear. I was madly trying to remember all the signs and signals and which fish was what and all that jazz but my mind was a blur.

I started down the ladder and a few steps down the 35kg helmet was lowered by hoist onto my shoulders. The whole gig works by air pressure... the helmet doesn't attach to the suit at all, just rests atop your shoulders and you breathe as you would on dry land. For the record, when you talk to yourself in the helmet no one can hear you. Actually you can barely hear yourself over the rush of the air. It is extremely weird.

And then this happened.

Why yes, I did get in a tank with this friendly face.

Finding my feet.

Notes to my big boy and girl. It was SO weird being able to see all the people out there watching me.
Like being in a fishtank or something. Oh wait...

Those rays were HUGE!

These little ones loved the bubbles and kept pecking at me! 
I have only on word to describe the entire experience... surreal. From the moment I got the the tank floor I was just astounded at it all. No time to feel scared or stressed, because the fish, sharks and rays were just so amazing as they danced past me so gracefully. I was down there for twenty minutes but it felt like two.

I am SO grateful to RedBalloon for this opportunity. It isn't something I would ever do for myself, but my gosh it was just incredible and I felt like wonderwoman afterwards!

If you are stuck for a Christmas gift for someone you love (or someone you'd like to scare the pants off, your choice) then this is the one.

If you prefer to get your kicks without getting wet, RedBalloon have a plethora of Christmas gift ideas for everyone, from the thrillseekers to the scaredy cats.

They are even offering you a special discount code so you can give someone special the experience of a lifetime too!

- Offer: Spend $129 or more on any RedBalloon experience, and receive $30 off.
- To redeem:  Visit and enter the
promotional code RBXMAS12 at the checkout to receive your discount.
- Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 31/01/13. Promotional Code can only be used once per person. All purchases are subject to Red Balloon T&Cs, for full details see 

And if you want proof that this stuff is what great memories are made of, I'll leave you with this:

Thanks to the team at Digital Parents Collective for inviting me to be a part of the RedBalloon Experience Program. I will be sharing my awesome experiences with you over the next 6 months. Stay tuned!  As always, all opinions are my own however the experiences are complimentary. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bedroom Bliss

Sometimes I receive quite unusual product pitches for my blog. Things that make me stop and think for a moment about whether I could write about them without being very cheeky.

Sometimes I am offered items that come at the perfect time for us as well. This is one of those items.

The lovely ones at BedGuard asked if we'd like to review one of their mattresses. They are quite a young company and were keen to know what some real families think of their products.

This is the bit where I confess that two of the single beds at our place have been sporting those el cheapo foam mattresses and while the kids hadn't complained about them, having lain on them myself I knew they just were not much chop and we needed to do something about it.

I had a knock on the door at 7.30 one morning and likely scared the wits out of the delivery guy with my pyjama clad bed hair ways as he brought in our new mattress. Immediately the boys decided it was for trampolining in the loungeroom. Cheeky buggers. They were disappointed to realise that in fact it would be going straight on the Big Girl's bed frame.

She's been sleeping on it for a week or so now. She is a sensitive soul my daughter, and prone to nightmares fairly regularly. I'm now wondering if her dodgy old mattress wasn't contributing to her restlessness a bit as she's not had one since the BedGuard mattress arrived and she is waking more refreshed as well. She is NOT a morning person so whether it is related or not, I am loving a little less snark from her in the mornings!

She tells me she is much more comfortable and that's really the most important thing for me. If I'm not allowed to sleep then someone should be! Ironically she was the worst sleeper of them all as a baby, and only slept through the night consistently once she had started school. You can imagine how happy it makes me that I can count on her being well rested these days!

So what makes BedGuard mattresses special? They have a unique protection system that repels liquid, odour, stains and bed bugs giving them a longer life than many mattresses as well as peace of mind for those of us with small people prone to being a bit wet or smelly sometimes.

I can also share that for those who sometimes end up sleeping in one of the kids' beds because your own gets too crowded, they are really really comfortable!

If you are due to upgrade the mattresses at your place I can happily recommend BedGuard, and assure you that after catching me first thing in the morning the delivery crew won't be at all put off by your bedroom attire either.

You can also find BedGuard on Facebook and YouTube, and as a special offer just for Kate Says Stuff readers they are offering $30 off per mattress you order. Please email me for details on how to take up this offer.

Sweet dreams!

Disclosure: We received a BedGuard mattress for the purpose of this review. No payment was offered or accepted and all opinions are my own. And while I can't guarantee that a BedGuard mattress will solve all the sleep issues at your place I can assure you that the mattresses come with a 5 year guarantee, so that's a bit ace.

Friday, November 16, 2012

#OperationMOVE - Where do we go from here?

So when I launched Operation MOVE back in September my plan was to run it for three months then let it go.

I didn't know how big a positive impact it would have on me, not only in terms of my own motivation but in the feeling of community and support it has created.

So I'm at a bit of a crossroads and would love your thoughts.

I'm thinking about extending it for the Summer months as well, and maybe changing it up a little.

Some of the ideas I'm tossing around include:

* An optional fitness test to be done at the start of each month.

* The option of including a weigh in component for those who have weight loss goals.

* A range of goal setting options that people can choose from such as minutes of exercise, kilometre goals for running, walking, swimming or cycling, a calories per week goal...

* Setting a time each week for #OperationMOVE chat on Twitter.

* Some possible real life get togethers?

So what do you think? Are you keen to continue over the coming months? What would help motivate and encourage you?

If there's a blank next to your name please fill me in! :D

#OperationMOVE is proudly sponsored by RedBalloon with thanks to Digital Parents Collective

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: In an Aussie Country Garden

I seem to be forever filling Instagram with photos from our garden. I am a pretty rubbish gardener to be honest, but even I know that we have been so lucky that the previous owners had a love of colour and design and far greener thumbs than mine.

Every single week something new is in bloom, there must be millions of bulbs out there. It makes me so happy, so I thought I'd share a selection (or a zillion).

I'm linking up with Trish over at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

As the years roll by...

There is this weird thing about time when you have children.

It speeds up somehow. That newborn you held in your arms just yesterday is suddenly a strapping nine year old. That tiny baby girl is a confident, independent school loving seven year old. Your precious little boy is about to start kinder and your last baby is no longer a baby at all.

They are growing up so fast, right before your eyes.

When my four were babes I was forever charting their growth in their health books. My eldest was textbook average but my Big Girl was never a Big Girl at all actually... from birth she has been long and lean (and healthily so). I'd often compare the four against each other at different ages and stages just out of curiosity.

The new Bupa Family Moments app is available from today, and makes tracking and charting your child's development easier than ever before. You simply imput your data and the app creates easy to read charts for the child up to three years of age.

Which is all very nifty, but not the most exciting thing about this app (for me).

What IS exciting is the family moments timeline.

The timeline allows you to take photos and share them with family and friends securely and easily. You can tag in other people and where the photo was taken, and even share straight to your Facebook if you want.

I have three nephews who are growing up really fast, and who I don't get to see anywhere near enough. I know my sisters feel the same way about my children. I'm going to be on their cases to download this (free) app so I can watch those beautiful boys grow up even with the tyranny of distance between us.

The other super cool part of this app is TimeCam. This part is free for Bupa members or you can purchase it within the app for $4.49 if you aren't a member.

The app prompts you to take a daily photo of your child (or children) and compiles them into a time lapse movie, so you can literally watch them change before your eyes! Ace hey?!

I've been having fun playing with the app and am looking forward to seeing the time lapse photos in a couple of months time.

You can find out more about the Bupa Family Moments app here, and grab it from the App Store.

Would you like a brand new iPod Touch to try out the app yourself? I have a brand spanking new 32g iPod Touch valued at $329 to give away!

To enter, leave a comment telling me about a family moment you wish you had captured. Entry is open to Australian residents and the competition closes on Saturday 25th November at 5pm.

This is a game of skill. The winner will be contacted via email within 24 hours of the competition closing and announced on this post.

Good luck!

Disclosure: We received an iPod touch and access to the Bupa Family Moments App for the purpose of this post. No payment was offered or accepted and all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letting go and freaking out.

I've been a bit more anxious than usual lately. Partly because I'm about to hop on the medication roundabout again and hope this time nothing super weird happens. But mostly because we're coming up to a new transition period and it makes me nervous in a way I never was with my older children.

My Little Mate will be going to kinder next year.

He is going to a little one attached to a specialist school where his needs can be met and the teachers all have a strong understanding of what those needs can be. There are a number of other children with autism attending, and I suspect a number of other parents quietly starting to freak out like I am.

The thing is, he's transitioned so well to child care. He's made some enormous leaps and it has been a brilliant experience for him. I've sent kids to kinder before with not a qualm. Why is it so hard to let this boy go?

Maybe because unlike my other children, this transition will not come easily to him.

Maybe because I know that if something happens, my other kids can stick up for themselves.

Maybe because I do not want to ever put my son in a position where he could be the object of ridicule... and while that will never happen at the kinder or the school if he goes there, it is symbolic of the whole world. Of his moving out of my arms and into the world and my inability to protect him from it.

I know I need to let go, and that my boy needs to learn to function in society without me. I WANT him to. I want him to be as independent as possible and to have friends and joy and laughter. I want so much for him.

But he will always be my baby, in a way that the others will not. Because he IS different. He is open and loving and sweet. He is innocent. He is my little boy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Good Oil.

I'm one of those people who has great intentions when it comes to supplements. I buy them and think that will sort out my various complaints or niggles. The problem is I don't necessarily remember to actually TAKE them, and it turns out just owning them doesn't make a difference at all!

That said, since I've been pushing my body to perform I have become quite religious about taking my supps. In particular I take magnesium every day to help with muscle support (I get quite crampy legs at night if I forget) along with fish oil for the Omega-3 benefits. I also use protein powder after a run and do feel the difference in terms of muscle recovery on the days that I don't.

I first heard of Krill Oil a number of years ago. I remember thinking it would be great for the Supertrucker. I read a bit about the benefits as opposed to regular fish oils (particularly in regards to heart health and cholesterol) and decided I'd get hold of some for him. I went to our local pharmacy and found only one brand available, and it was prohibitively expensive. I then went on to find out a bit about the ecological concerns around krill and decided to let it go.

Over the years in between the availability of krill oils has increased, but I still felt a little iffy about the enviromental impact and didn't do anything about it. And then my friends at Blackmores (who I've worked with a number of times now and love to pieces) got in touch to let me know about their new Eco Krill product.

Blackmores Eco Krill has all the benefits associated with taking krill oil including supporting brain, heart and eye health. But the great news is that it is also the only krill oil available in Australia that has been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

From the Blackmores website:

Krill plays an important role in the ocean and is a food source for many ocean creatures such as whales, seals and penguins. That’s why it is important to ensure the sustainability of krill in our oceans. Blackmores has a commitment to achieve the highest environmental standard of sustainable sourcing. Blackmores has been independently assessed to meet the MSC standards to ensure our Eco Krill is only sourced from certified sustainable fisheries.

* You can find an interesting article on the benefits of krill oil vs fish oil here too.

So long story short (too late?) Blackmores kindly sent me their Eco Krill Oil to try for myself, and I've actually been remembering to take it! Well, that is to say I HAD been taking it every night until my face exploded (fear not, I'd been taking the krill for a few weeks before that happened). I took a few days off everything out of sheer nerves to be honest but am back on the good oil again now.

In the days that I wasn't taking any supplements I did feel quite different within myself... more than I imagined I would actually. Certainly my muscles and joints were protesting more than usual, especially overnight. And my memory was shot to pieces, but that's not terribly unusual for me sadly.

Blackmores would like to share the benefits of Eco Krill Oil with one of you as well, and are giving away a one year supply valued at $300 to a lucky reader!

To enter, please leave a comment telling me why you'd benefit from this great prize then use the widget below to register your entry.

This is a game of skill and is open to Australian residents. The competition closes at 5pm on Sunday 18th November (AEST) and the winner will be notified by email.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway