lifestyle, Parenting

Take the Gratefulness Family Challenge

June 5, 2018

This exercise in gratefulness helps me to concentrate on what is good in our lives.  Giving thanks can make you happier and more resilient, it can strengthen relationships and reduce stress.  This Gratefulness Family Challenge does that simply:

Every night at bedtime we each say three things we are grateful for that day.

I love the idea of incorporating gratefulness into our everyday routine – of practising gratefulness every day with our children.

Focusing on what we are grateful for also helps us on our path to minimalism, to get rid of the clutter and to concentrate on what is important to us.

 

Gratefulness

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Travel

Icefields Parkway – An Amazing Journey Series

June 4, 2018

“The world is a book and those that do not travel read only one page.”

Saint Augustine.

The Icefields Parkway was my reason for visiting Canada (after seeing the photos on a blog!), and it didn’t disappoint.

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93, or ‘Promenade des Glaciers’ in French) is a 230km majestic drive between Jasper and Banff.  I have never travelled any other road in the world that has such a diversity of attractions – aquamarine lakes, spectacular mountain ranges, rushing waterfalls, glaciers and wildlife!

 

Icefields Parkway

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lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

Bear Spotting in Jasper National Park – An Amazing Journey Series

June 2, 2018

Jasper National Park is your destination if you are looking to do a bit of bear spotting.  It was by far the best spot to see bears – and we are comparing it with Banff National Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite and many more.

The scenery in Jasper is stunning, its surrounded by the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and at almost every turn there are vistas of blue lakes or rushing rivers, and not to mention the meandering wildlife.  Of all the places we visited on this trip, Jasper National Park was my favourite.  It is a pity so many visitors go north as far as Banff, or Lake Louise, and miss out on Jasper, and the Icefields Parkway.

Jasper and the Icefield Parkway absolutely blew me away.  If you want to talk about a place where your soul feels at ease, where you feel at home, and at peace, Jasper is your destination.  The Icefields Parkway is your journey.

I’ve included our favourites from Jasper in this blog, and will follow it with a blog about the Icefields Parkway.

Spirit Island, Lake Maligne, Jasper NP

Spirit Island, Lake Maligne, Jasper NP

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lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

Today I played lego – living my truth.

May 30, 2018

What does the phrase “living my truth” mean to me? It is about being at peace, and content.  And the freedom to be me, to drop the mask of the person I show the world, and to honour what is important to me.

“Living my truth” is a journey in getting to know myself.  But one benefit of going through the grief process is that it makes you stop.  Stop and assess what is really important to you.

Years ago I wrote my goals down. It was in the wake of losing my mother-in-law suddenly, and in the context of having already lost my father to cancer, long before he could walk me down the aisle or ever meet his beautiful grandchildren. One of my goals was to:

Spend more time with my children. Make that QUALITY time. Spend more time playing hairdressers and bouncing on the trampoline and making cakes and reading stories.

Today I did this.

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Food, lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

Vancouver with two children, walking shoes … and the man flu – an Amazing Journey series part 3

May 22, 2018

Vancouver is a city of beauty and culture.  A city of depth.  With two days to spend, it’s a matter of fitting in everything you can – and having comfortable shoes.

We travel as a family to learn and to connect with each other, and the city had plenty of opportunities for this, our favourite being Science World with a load of interactive exhibits for the girls to try on their own or for us to do together as a family.

My own personal favs had to be the beauty and calmness of the waterfront, and eating local delicacies – everywhere!

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Food, lifestyle, Travel

It all starts now – an Amazing Journey series – part 2

May 12, 2018

Five years ago we re-evaluated our lives and our goals after the sudden loss of my mother in law.  We vowed to slow down and to enjoy life with our small children.  We got outside and explored.  And we travelled.  This Amazing Journey series documents our journey through Canada and the US, provides an insight on travelling with children, local destination tips and tricks, and, of course, gives an Accountant’s perspective on making the most of your holiday dollar.

The day we left New Zealand was crazy! We had been cramming everything into a short period before our departure – I’d been on the road most of the month, my mother was leaving for three months, we worked right up to the last day to maximize our annual leave – and we had to get our house ready to rent out on AirBNB while we were away. By the time we reached the airport that evening, I collapsed with the shakes. I hadn’t eaten all day and have a habit of fainting – so my husband promptly left me there to find food and something to drink. Give me half an hour, and a bit of sugar – and it’s time for the adventure to begin!

A year in the planning – it all starts now. Continue Reading…

lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

Staying still – how I find my balance.

May 10, 2018

The most beautiful necklace a mother can wear is her child’s arms around her neck.

I’m on the road and I’m missing my girls. My youngest has been sick and I haven’t been there to give her cuddles and fall asleep with her in my arms. I’ve been away from home since Monday and I’m feeling the Mummy guilt.

I’m hating the job that is taking me away from them.

But I’m also forced to have time out, time to myself – without the noise of housework and homework and grocery shopping and family. Continue Reading…

Parenting, Travel

The Mickey Mouse guide to the value of money – saving for the dream family adventure

May 9, 2018

So we want to meet Mickey Mouse, but meeting Mickey and all his friends is not cheap. We were dreaming of an amazing family holiday – but how do we save for it?

First of all – we needed children buy in.

We started the discussion with the girls around where they wanted to go, and they each nominated two or three places in Canada and the US before voting for their favourites.

Now we had the girls “on board”, but it’s important to us that our children learn the value of money. So we started a conversation with the girls about saving money as a family. Continue Reading…

Travel

4000 miles, 5 weeks and 2 kids – an amazing journey series part 1

April 26, 2018

When my daughter was born on Independence Day I had always dreamed of taking her to see the fireworks at Disneyland for her birthday. So by the time we made the trip from New Zealand for her 12th birthday, it had been years in the planning.

But we weren’t going to go all that way without making the most of it! We made a bucket list, starting at Yellowstone in the North and finishing at Disneyland on Independence Day. But how to get to Yellowstone? Well, why not through Canada? Continue Reading…

lifestyle, Parenting

A cure to Rushing Woman’s Syndrome?

April 24, 2018

A friend recommended a book a while ago, “Rushing Woman’s Syndrome” (Libby Weaver).  She loved it, she said it changed her life.  I asked her what Rushing Woman’s Syndrome was.  Her response was “you!”.  So I bought the book and sat down to read it.

Rushing Woman’s Syndrome describes the biochemical and emotional effects of always being in a hurry and the health consequences that urgency elicits.  It doesn’t seem to matter if a woman has two things to do in her day or two hundred, she is in a pressing rush to do it all.  She is often wound up like a top, running herself ragged in a daily battle to keep up.  There is always so much to do, and she very rarely feels like she wins, is in control and gets on top of things….

The book had a test.  Score 1-4, you are not a Rushing Woman.  Score 5-7, you are on your way.  Score 7 or above, hello Rushing Woman.  I scored 24 … and decided I didn’t have time to read the book!

But then, in a split second, our lives changed (again).  I thought I had solved my Rushing Woman’s Syndrome.  I wrote “[t]here is nothing like having someone who makes up such a huge part of your life die suddenly to remind you to stop and smell the roses“. Continue Reading…

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