9 Oct 2017

FIVE PLANTS THAT HELP TO REPEL MOZZIES


Summer is just around the corner bringing with it long lazy days by the pool, backyard BBQ's with family and friends and the return of the dreaded mozzie who on there own are enough to turn summer fun into summer misery.


If your anything like me, you attract the mozzie with a vengeance. They attack you in swarms sucking the life out of you, leaving your skin with huge itchy welts.

Not much fun huh !

It doesn't seem to matter how often I spray repellent, they always seem to find a way to bite me.

So this year I have done some research on others ways that I can help to give the mozzies the boot, and it seems that there are some plants out there that can help repel the beast.

Lavender 

Lavender is a plant that grows well indoors and out which has a double advantage when it comes to mosquitoes. Lavender help repel the pest as they do not like the scent that the plant gives off. So planting some in the garden or keeping a pot of lavender indoors will help to keep them at bay.


Basil

The smell of basil is loathed by mosquitoes. Rub the fresh leaves onto your skin for a natural repellent that will deter the most pesky mozzie.


Marigolds

Besides being edible and adding a gorgeous splash of colour to your garden beds, marigolds are useful for keeping mozzies away from humans and aphids away from your plants and vegetable gardens. A handy little plant indeed.


Citronella

The original bug repellent that is a common ingredient in almost every store bought repellent out there. Add one of these attractive plants to your pool or BBQ area this summer.


Peppermint

Peppermint will fill your garden with a gorgeous scent as well as repelling the warm weather pest. A natural insecticide, it kills as well as repels.


Remember these plants are just some species that help to repel mosquitoes, and wont do the job all on their own. They are just a preventive and other measures need to be taken as well.

Make sure that all containers around your home are empty of water, and there are no puddles of water that will attract mozzies, and always keep a repellent spray handy to keep those nasty little critters away so that you can enjoy your summer like you deserve.


beck xx

3 Oct 2017

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR PRIME MINISTER - Malcolm Turnbull


I wasn’t going to weigh in on the marriage equality debate, but I’ve changed my mind. And as a woman that is my prerogative.

You see Mr Turnbull, I honestly don’t understand why you are against marriage of same sex couples.

Do you see it as some kind of threat ?

I can’t see the point of wasting precious time and funds by asking Australians to vote on something that should be a no brainer. It doesn't need to be hard.

Tell me something Prime Minister. Are you scared ?
Do you think that by making same sex marriage legal, you will look weak ? That you will look like a follower ? Like someone who is under pressure to conform to society ?

Well let me tell you Mr Turnbull you are weak, and I believe that you are scared. Of what I am uncertain, but to many your weakness and lack of courage is obvious.
Lend me an ear Prime Minister, as I have something to say to you, something that you ought to know.

I am the proud Australian mother of an openly gay son. A son who deserves respect, a grown man who deserves the right to make his own choices, an Australian citizen who deserves to love and marry the person he chooses  just like you and me, because he is just like you and me. Human and nobody has the right to deny a human being happiness.
You say fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society so tell me, why are you not playing fair ?
As a parent yourself I am sure that you want your children to live long and happy lives, so why do you want to deny my son the same right ?
I have no doubt that you would want your children to feel loved and complete, so why do you want my son to live through life without the contentment that marrying your soul mate gives ?
I am also sure that you would stand up for your child if push came to shove, that you would stand up and support your child in a fierce manner that only a parent can. And you know what Malcolm Turnbull, that is exactly what I am doing. I am standing up for my son who should have the same rights as his brothers, I am supporting my son publicly and I am being fierce Mr Turnball as only a mother knows how.

What right do you have Prime Minister ?
Can you answer that question honestly ?
Were you not voted in to lead this country and its people, not degrade some of them of their human right ?

Marriage is the commitment of two people who love each other, and no one that walks this earth should be made to feel ashamed of who they are, who they love or who fulfils them.

Mr Prime Minister, as a mother to four sons I must ask you.
How would you honestly feel if one of your children was to be treated differently than another ?
Let me answer it for you.....

It would break your heart !



beck 







2 Oct 2017

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER Health and Fitness Update


Here we are almost ten months into the year and although progress has been made on this health journey of mine, I haven't nearly progressed as much as I would have liked by now.
Its true that I have lost weight not gained, but I really thought that my goal would have reached half way by now.

I wont give up though and that is what counts right ?
Isn't loosing weight slowly better in the long run ?

The challenge for August was to go meatless....

Yeah um I think I maybe managed this once or twice but this is just not an easy thing for me to achieve. With a house full of men to cook for and satisfy, I found myself still serving up a portion of meat onto my plate as well. My meal serves have halved so that is certainly a good thing, but technically l “failed" this challenge. I am not beating myself up about it. I just don't think that I am cut out to go full on vegetarian.

Septembers challenge was to find a workout buddy....

My workout buddy is usually music on my phone. I plug myself in and off I go. Other times I walk with my mum. As she was away for most of the month my workout was done alone or dare I say it not at all.

Very naughty I know

For October I am pledging to outdo myself and exercise as many days of the week as possible, even if it is just a walk.

The challenge for the month is to "savor your meals" and with the hot weather arriving, I am planning on serving up delicious salads that I know will demand to be savored.

Its time to stop putting things off and ramp it up a notch. I need to stop procrastinating and DO all of the things RIGHT NOW !




1 Oct 2017

TAKING STOCK - September 2017



Are you on the same roller coaster as me ? The one that seems to be hurtling towards the end of the year faster than you ever thought possible ? It's like I blinked and September vanished into thin air. It certainly is a reminder for us all to stop and take in the little things that surrounds us.

Pip  really was onto a good thing when she started Taking Stock each month to keep a diary of sorts for everything that she wanted to remember. So many of us have joined in with her, and I love taking a moment to stop and think of what went on in my life at the end of each month. So without any more rambling, here is my September.


Making  time to do some craft again. Its been a long time between projects and it feels good to be making stuff again.
Cooking  large amounts of fried rice. I cant seem to feed my family enough of it.
Drinking  Kombucha. Where on earth has this been all my life ? I know that I am slow to the party, but I cant get enough of this delicious beverage.
Reading  The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright. I had really high expectations for this book, but was kind of disappointed in it. I also read Spin Cycle by Ilsa Evans and really enjoyed this one. Seems it was the month of Aussie authors for me.
Wanting  time to slow down. How is October already ?
Looking  for new recipes that will cut down time in the kitchen over summer. I will be trying many  new salad recipes on my family and was wondering if you have any summer meals that you would like to share with me ?
Wishing  I could pack up and take my family on a holiday. One day it will happen. One day.....
Enjoying  life right now. Time spent with my family and just generally taking the time to stop and smell the roses. I've finally got it into my thick head that there is no point stressing over the small things.
Waiting  for rain. It is so dry here that our grass is brown and crunchy and water restrictions are tight. We are hoping that we actually get a long over due wet season this summer. Without the cyclones of course.
Liking  my new fan in our bedroom.
Wondering  how long its going to be before our pool is invaded by our sons friends and the house and yard is full of wet towels.
Loving  the colour green.
Listening  to Pinks new songs and Busby Marou.
Buying  new dresses to get me through the hot summer months that are on their way.
Watching  trash TV as always lol
Hoping  that the last few months of the year pass a little slower.
Needing  more time with my family.
Questioning  why everything in life has to cost so much money.
Smelling  all the pretty flowers that are in bloom. I really love spring time.


Wearing  cool dresses, and pyjamas on the school run still 
Noticing  that my family don't NOTICE all the work I do around the home for them.
Knowing  that it is only thirteen days until Pinks new album is released and I can not wait :)
Thinking  about the job interview I have on Tuesday and freaking out.
Admiring  people who know exactly who they are and are completely at ease with themselves.
Getting  ready to start painting the house.
Opening  birthday presents. I really was a lucky lady this year.
Closing  closing the door on forty two and welcoming in the year of being forty three.
Feeling  tired.
Dreaming  of going on a cruise some time in the future.
Hearing  the birds early in the morning. Such a lovely way to wake up.
Celebrating my birthday and the North QLD Cowboys making the NRL grand final. Come on boys you can do it .....
Pretending  that my boys are still little and we still have all the time in the world.
Embracing  this fabulous family that my husband and I have created together and knowing that without them my life would be totally incomplete.

How was your September ?
Did you celebrate any birthdays or anniversaries ?
Are just as baffled as me as to where this year has gone ?

beck xx

26 Sep 2017

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE IN PICTURES


With the baby of our family in his final weeks of school, I have found myself drifting off revisiting times gone by.  Big occasions in life will do that to you, make your mind wander and replay significant moments, cherished memories that make your heart and your family whole.

Its been twenty four years since I became a mum. Twenty four years of happiness, sadness, laughter and many mistakes made let me tell you. But you know what ? that's okay. Because without all the ups and downs we wouldn't be the family that we are today....



It started out here. High school sweet hearts.

Then we became a family...


Two years later, we were blessed with our second son. Making us a family of four...




Another two years passed and what do you know, another boy blue to join our crew...



On the day that son number three turned one, we found out some news 
that was rather unexpected, but gave us so much happiness.
We were going to be blessed with another bundle of joy...


Making us a family of six and our family was complete.






Our dynamic may be about to change and change is never easy. But with all these beautiful memories tucked under our belt, I know that we will be okay, and that no matter where life takes us we still have many years of memories left to make.

beck xx

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with www.kyliepurtell.com

5 Sep 2017

DIY QUICK & EASY WALL ART - TWO WAYS !



With Spring in the air, it seems as though I have my craft and diy mojo back.

FINALLY !

I have no idea where it went, maybe it was just lack of inspiration, motivation or just plain lack of time. Who knows, but lately my mind has been buzzing with ideas for my home and that makes this crafty mamma very happy.

If your like me at the moment, you may have limited cash flow. Things are a little tight right now, which doesn't leave much for me to frivolously throw it around on unnecessary items.
So with a little imagination, I have come up with two ways to decorate the walls of my lounge room that are easy to achieve and are easy on the pocket.

Animal prints seem to be the go at the moment. There are so many beautiful artists out there creating such fabulous pieces of art work it is rather hard not to be inspired. My take on these is an easy way for you to get in on the animal themed wall art, without spending a fortune. 

ANIMAL WALL ART - OPTION ONE 



I found these gorgeous blank cards at Thrifties when I was buying a birthday card for a friend. They took my eye with how amazing each of them were and I just had to have them, and at $2 a card they were cheap enough not to break the bank. With the cards in hand I next headed to every woman's favourite store at the moment KMART  with the hope of finding frames that would fit the cards perfectly. 




And I had a win ... These frames were a bargain at $4 each meaning that in total my crafty diy project cost me $18 in total. Nothing to complain about there. 
The outcome ... is cheap, easy but a gorgeous way to get some art work on my bare walls.




WALL ART - OPTION TWO

Keeping in tune with the animal theme, I decided to make over this stag clock that I had hidden away. Purchased quite a long way back from KMART  I never got around to hanging it. 
Looking at it recently I decided that I no longer wanted to use it as a clock and my mind started ticking.



I began by pulling the clock mechanism out, then using some gorgeous vinyl contact that I purchased from Bunnings  proceeded to cover the stag.





The outcome is an unusual piece of art that was quick, cheap at $17 in total and very easy to achieve. It also makes me very happy to look at each time I enter my lounge room.





I had been after some affordable art for my lounge room, and these ideas were just perfect for what I was looking for. They look great, and were very achievable. Now I am on a roll and I cant wait to add to them.

beck xx

Sharing these diy tips over at www.kyliepurtell.com fot this weeks IBOT





31 Aug 2017

TAKING STOCK - August 2017


Hello there.

So its time for us to bid a fond farewell to August. This year is just flying by isn't it. It feels as though we just welcomed the cooler weather of winter and poof ! Here we are ready to walk on into spring. I have enjoyed this winter immensely. The weather has been absolutely perfect here in north Queensland, so much so that I wish we could have days like these all year round.

Anyway enough chatter about the weather, its time to Take Stock just like Pip did.


Making  progress in our back yard before the heat comes. We have been planting new native plants to attract more birds to our yard, re-planting the veggie patch and making time to clean out our enormous shed. It feels good to be almost on top of it all.
Cooking  some delicious new dishes courtesy of The Annoyed Thyroid and BabyMac
Drinking  coffee, lots of coffee. I have needed more than a kick start in the morning lately.
Reading  some fantastic books lately. Her Perfect Life by Sam Hepburn. Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris. I am really into the crime and thriller books at the moment, tho I did just start The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright. I let you know what I think about this one when I've finished it.
Wanting  to paint this darn house already but finances just are not allowing it at the moment leaving me very frustrated.
Looking  for books on the 5:2 diet. I have heard great things about it and I am wanting to read up on it to see if it is right for me.
Deciding  on Christmas presents for my boys. Are really at that point of the year already ?
Wishing  winter would last forever.
Enjoying  pottering in the garden and baking biscuits. Guess I'm showing my age now lol.
Waiting  for our dogs to out grow they annoying puppy stage of digging and barking. Grrrr.
Liking  all the spring flowers that are staring to bloom. I really love this time of year. It has to be my favourite.
Wondering  how hot it is really going to get here in Mackay this summer when we are already hitting 27 degrees here in August.
Loving  The Block 2017. I stopped watching the last few seasons. The contestants did nothing for me and it seem to move too far away from the original. This season however has me glued. Much better guys, stick to the winning formula.
Listening  to Busby Marou and of course Pinks new song What About Us  I just love it. What about her speech at the VMA's what a role model and not just for her daughter but for women all around the world.
Considering  cutting my hair again. I know, I know short, long, short. I should just make my mind up hey lol.
Buying  plants, presents, a pom pom maker, food and more food.
Watching  Suits. Why on earth has it taken me so long to watch it ? I mean come on ..... HARVEY !
Hoping  that the rest of the year goes by a little slower.
Cringing  at the state of my wardrobe. I really need to take some time and clean it out.
Needing  to wash my car. Seems nobody else will do it !
Questioning  our government. There is no need to spend all this money on a plebiscite for same sex marriage. Just pass the damn thing and put the money to better use. I don't know how this Country is running with our current government, I really don't.
Wearing  shorts that are way too big for me. I didn't realise how much weight I had lost since last summer. I have a long way to go but the idea of buying some new summer stuff has me slightly excited.


Noticing  just how close my boys really are lately. It warms my heart to see them getting along, spending time together laughing. Makes me think that I have done something right.
Knowing  time is getting closer by the minute until my baby graduates high school. 
Thinking  what maybe next on my horizon once I am no longer a school mum and all that comes along with that.
Admiring  women who know who they are, are successful and have purpose. 
Opening  myself up to new possibilities in life and hoping something good comes along that I can sink my teeth into.
Closing  cupboard doors, wardrobe doors and any darn door behind my husband. Hey mate.... I am not your maid nor your butler. It takes no more strength to close them or open them !
Feeling  a bit lonely lately. 
Dreaming  of a holiday. Its been two years since our last one and we haven't even made it away even for a weekend since.
Hearing  birds singing every morning. Its such a happy way to wake up.


Well there is my August. Did you have a memorable one ? Were you lucky enough to get away ? Did you cook something new and delicious ?

I love hearing about what everyone has been up to. Taking Stock really is a good way to record memories of months, even years gone by. Pip really was onto something when she started this up.

beck xx


29 Aug 2017

TODAY, TOMORROW & THURSDAY


I woke early this morning, it was still dark outside but the distant stirring of birds meant the day was about to begin. It is a big day, one that has been thirteen years in the making, there have been tears, there have been fights and there has been stress, so much stress. But here we are still standing, still pushing through.

A lot is riding on today, tomorrow and Thursday My baby boys future lays dependent on these three isolated days of his schooling life. All thirteen years of learning have reached their summit as he takes the most important exams of his life so far. The QCS {Queensland Core Skills}


I have mixed feelings about today, tomorrow and Thursday, on one hand its exciting to know that as a family we have reached this milestone together. That as parents we can pat ourselves on the back and be proud that all of our four sons have made it through grade twelve and have been able to do so with their heads held high. On the other hand today, tomorrow and Thursday brings us to an end of an era. No longer will we be the parents of school students. No longer the parents of kids who are struggling to make sure that all expectations are being met whether it be making sure school attendance is high, that homework is completed and that study is being done. Today, my job as a school mum hits its last legs, I am on the home run now, and to be honest I have cried tears of joy, tears of sadness and also tears of unease as I wonder if there is any more that I could have done to prepare my baby boy for these final schooling moments.


So today my darling boy,
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You can be proud of what you have achieved so far and all you can do now is march on into these exams and do your absolute best. I know that you have done all there is to prepare yourself for this moment and as your mum I couldn't be prouder.
I hope that I have done enough for you, that I have been supportive and encouraging, and that I have not done you any injustice. That over the years you have been able to count on me being their for you no matter what.
You are my last baby, my baby Ben, my possum. You have grown into an incredible young man and I cant wait to see what your future brings. Your dreams are big as are mine for you, and soon they will be within your reach. You can do it Ben, you can make your dreams reality. I have all faith in your ability to make it in this big wide world.


Almost eighteen years ago you came into this world completing our family. We love you unconditionally, every single one of us. So take this and our support with you into these exams today, tomorrow and Thursday and smash it just like I know you will.

Love mum.
xxxx

Linking up for this weeks IBOT with Kylie over at www.kyliepurtell.com

22 Aug 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON - Jess Crawford ARTIST


Art is one of the great pleasures in life. It is something I love to surround myself with, and I believe that life would be very sad and boring without it.
Instagram has been a fabulous window for me to find some fabulous Australian artists, artists that I may never have had the pleasure of finding other wise.

One of those beautiful artists that I found and followed was Jess Crawford  An original mixed media artist, Jess's beautiful artwork demands attention. Stunning and exciting, it drew me in, in all its colour and glory.


SPOTLIGHT
JESS CRAWFORD



Jess lives in a small country town in South Australia with her 
husband and two gorgeous sons.
Her art journey in mixed media began in 2013
when she was given the "BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER"
year long painting tutorials.
The training she had was not just tutorials but the birth 
of Jess's own authentic expression 
into the world of art.


There are many fabulous ways that you can make one of Jess's pieces your own. Her website has a link to her store where you can purchase beautiful works to hang in your home, buy notepads, cards, wrapping paper and even jewellery showcasing Jess's original artworks. You can also commission Jess to create a custom order just for you. 





And if you have ever needed something extra pretty in your life each month, subscribe to Jess's BRIGHTENS THE WAY subscription box.

In each box you will receive 

* an A 5 size post card to put on your wall
* 4x6 inch greeting card
* an A 5 size notepad to write all your dreams that brighten your way every day
and 
* a surprise to add to your stationery collection {like a cool pen or funky gift tag}



Jess has also just announced that she is releasing a beautiful calendar for 2018 showcasing one of her art works for every month of the year. Pop on over to her website to pre order your calendar or subscription box now. You will not be disappointed.



Here is how you can follow or contact Jess so you can see for yourself just how talented she is.




Sharing this spotlight on the fabulous Jess with Kylie today on IBOT.

beck xx

15 Aug 2017

MINI CINNAMON "DONUT" MUFFINS


Are you a sucker for donuts ?
Are you a fan of muffins ?

Then check these babies out....

If you bake one thing this week make it these little bites of heaven. They are AMAZING ! and as per usual I found the recipe while scrolling through the magical world of Pinterest, and I just had to make them, taste them and now share them with you.
The original recipe is from the fabulous blog Chocolate Chocolate and More There are so many delicious recipes on this blog so go check it out.

Mini Cinnamon "Donut" Muffins 



2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Topping

6 tablespoons melted butter 
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and stir through.

In a separate bowl, whisk gently together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently through until just combined making sure there are no large lumps left in the mixture (small lumps are fine)

Fill greased mini muffin tin 2/3 full and for 15 minutes in a moderate oven.
Remove and allow to cool.

For the topping - melt the butter and in another bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Dip the top of each muffin into the butter, than coat with the sugar mix.

Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy.

beck xx

Sharing these little bites of heaven over at Kylie Purtels for IBOT

9 Aug 2017

MINI CHEESY MUFFINS


I am constantly on a mission to find ways to keep the fridge full of tasty snacks for my hungry crew of boys. I always have fruit on hand, but lets face it, that is not always enough to keep a growing boys growling stomach satisfied. Believe me !  So I am always looking for cheap, easy and moderately healthy snacks to fill their bellies.

These mini cheesy muffins are a huge hit with my tribe and so easy to make. Great for lunch boxes ( if they last that long ) or just to snack on they are made with ingredients that most of us already have at our disposal.

MINI CHEESY MUFFINS



2 cups of self raising flour
2 cups of grated cheese
2 eggs
2 cups of water


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. 
Prepare mini muffin tin by sparingly spraying with olive oil.

In a bowl and the flour, cheese and mix well.
In a suitable jug, beat the eggs and add the water, stirring well to combine.
Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of cheese and flour, and mix well with a metal spoon.
Spoon mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.


So easy and so yummy. Give these a whirl and I will guarantee they will be a hit.

Enjoy

beck xx







8 Aug 2017

EDUCATION.COM - A World of Fun Learning



A few weeks a go I shared with you a post from education.com. You can find that post  HERE  They are committed to helping your child fulfill their learning potential no matter what stage of learning they are at. Concentrating on educating children from prep to grade five, education.com provide your children with in-depth understanding of reading, spelling and mathematics, just to name a few.

There is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to education. Each child has unique challenges and goals and education.com offers many different resources to help meet the educational needs of your child.

Together with education.com I am happy to share with you one of the worksheets on offer, to show you and your child that learning doesn't have to be a struggle, that it can indeed be a fun way to raise kids' confidence in learning.

Dive into an under sea adventure with this fun maze
from Education.com !

Find more great resources for kids here.



Answer at the end of post 

How fun was that ? Education.com has more of these activities on their web site along with many more fun and exciting ways to learn. Head over and sign your child up today and show them that learning doesn't have to be a chore.


You can sign up 
HERE and put your child on the right path to learning 


beck xx

7 Aug 2017

JULY - Health and Fitness Update



July July July where do I begin. 

I failed my self challenge for about half of the month. Then I had an epiphany of sorts, gave myself a good talking to and stopped dishing myself up so much food. Since then...
Success !

I've started drinking more water again and enjoying it.
Who knew !

Eight months in and still not a great physical change but inside I am starting to feel much better. I am sleeping better, I have more energy and even though you cant really tell as yet I have lost a few kilos. 

This past week I literally woke up and told myself enough is enough. Its time to ramp up this challenge and make it worth its while and I started exercising. 
And guess what...
My legs and arms feel as though they are about to fall off but I feel good. So good in fact that I look forward to my session each day. 

For the month of August, my challenge is to go meatless. I know that I cant go full on vegetarian. (I love meat way to much for that) but I am willing to go there and give it a go for the sake of the challenge. I am going to have to do a bit of recipe hunting for this one, as I just know that my family of men are going to turn their noses up at any food that does not contain meat.
On that note, is there such a recipe that is full on vegetarian that will fill my families bellies ? Please help a sister out with this one if you can.

As for everything else, I will continue to drink plenty of water, eat smaller portions and exercise each and every day. The year maybe eight months in and nearing its end (crazy) but I think that slowly I am getting a hang of this better, healthier living. 

beck xx

FIVE PLANTS THAT HELP TO REPEL MOZZIES

Summer is just around the corner bringing with it long lazy days by the pool, backyard BBQ's with family and friends and the return of ...