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work

Budgeting, lifestyle, Parenting, Renovation

Some people spend their holidays drinking cocktails …

October 12, 2018

Some people spend their holidays drinking cocktails.  I am envious.  I would love to sit by a pool in the sun drinking Pina Coladas.  It reminds me of our time in Fiji, a jug of Pina Colada, sun loungers, a two-year-old playing at our feet.

But this holidays it was not to be.  This week I’ve spent my precious annual leave sanding, cleaning, stripping wallpaper, pulling staples out of the floor, and learning to wallpaper.  This girls have been bored out of their minds, and have been fighting like crazy.  The novelty of stripping wallpaper wore off after the first weekend.

But we are building a future for our children and ourselves.  There are a lot of sacrifices we have to make, but it will all be worthwhile in a few months when the house is complete.

And at least I can say I have learned something new!

Because life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than your comfort zone [Billy Cox].

This was my first ever attempt at wallpapering (“after” photos to come):

Accounting4chaos

Master Bedroom – work in progress

Accounting4chaos

Master Bedroom – “before”

 



 

Budgeting, lifestyle, Parenting

Paintbrushes and retirement planning…

September 20, 2018

Life had been going pretty smoothly over the last few months.  I’d dropped a couple of volunteer positions, learned to say no to work commitments, and even turned up for the odd school outing!  I was exercising, going to relaxation yoga, and enjoying spending quality time with my family without stressing about work.

But you know what happens when a busy workaholic finally slows down?  They find something else to do.

And I did.

Over the last few weeks, we have been in the process of buying another house.  It is old and run down and needs a complete renovation.  We have been busy measuring it up, picking carpets, shopping for kitchens, appliances and curtains.  Booking in carpet and floor sanders and builders and painters.  Not to mention the usual stress of dealing with the lawyers and the bank.  And today we got the keys.

Why?

As you know we have been thinking a lot about what we want out of life.  We have been looking at whether our busy chaotic lifestyle is for us.  Which it may not be.

However, if we want to make changes in our lives, we need to do something about it.

We can’t just keep going to work every day, making money, spending money, and in five years time realising we are in the exact same position as we are today – just with a few more grey hairs and the girls looking at moving out of home.

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Parenting

I am the happiest person in the world!

August 30, 2018

Tonight at bedtime my daughter said to me “Mummy, I’m the happiest person in the world, happy, happy, happy!”.

“Why are you so happy?” I asked her.

“Because I have the best Mummy in the whole wide world!”.

Well.  I didn’t expect that one.

I haven’t done anything special.

Thinking back on the day:

  • I made her cry this morning when she was mucking around and we were trying to get out the door.
  • I confiscated her special toy when she refused to put a jumper on.
  • She had to go to after-school care while I worked.
  • Hubby picked her up, made dinner, asked her how her speech went and was generally the primary caregiver for the night.
  • I finally got home after the girls’ dinner, just in time for the Girl Guides run and bedtime.

So what did I do to deserve this?

I was just me.  I gave her cuddles, showed her I loved her and was there to tuck her into bed.  And that was enough.

As much as we feel the guilt of being away from our children, and the tug of that invisible umbilical cord, us Mums need to stop beating ourselves up about our “failures”.

Just being there, being present and in the moment, is enough.

We are enough.  We can be happy.  Right here, right now. Be in the moment.

Take care,

XX

Accounting4Chaos #Mummyguilt #happy



 

Uncategorized

Happy Monday!

August 19, 2018

I am the first to dread Mondays in our house.  I suffer horribly from the “Monday Blues”. But I’m done with it.  It’s not helping me or anybody else, so I’m turning over a new leaf.  Welcome to POSITIVE MONDAYS!

This week it’s back to work as normal.  I’m slowly recovering from the flu, and my brain is almost functional again.  I just got a pay rise (not sure if that is a good thing, or if it just adds to the handcuffs, but an interesting topic to explore later…).  And, if all goes to plan, we may even buy a house this week!

I wish you all a fantastic week, with whatever it is you are doing.  Remember:

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love – then make that day count!“
Steve Maraboli

Have a great week!

XX

#mondayblues Monday Accounting 4 Chaos



Food, lifestyle, Parenting

What I learned from being sober

August 1, 2018

On 1 July I pledged to give up alcohol, and I signed up for Dry July to raise funds for people affected by cancer.  A month later and I’ve reached my goal, I’ve abstained from alcohol and I’ve raised $249.75 for Look Good Feel Better, to help people living with cancer.  And I’ve been surprised with what I’ve learned along the way.

Why I gave up alcohol

I had a number of reasons for giving up alcohol and signing up for Dry July.   Firstly, I was looking forward to the health benefits of not drinking for a month.  Secondly, I’ve also lost too many people I love to the hideous illness.

I lost my father to cancer over 15 years ago.  Despite his fight, he didn’t make it to my graduation.  He wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding.  And he never got to meet his beautiful grandchildren.

Recently we also lost one of my daughter’s school friends, at eight years old.  A little girl who loved cats and princesses.  A little girl who didn’t make it to her 9th birthday.

Dry July felt like something I needed to do this year.  Something positive.

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Budgeting, Parenting

School Holiday Device Free Fun!

July 15, 2018

I was so proud of the girls today.  We managed to have a great day, without devices – wet and windy wild weather and all.

After a treat for breakfast (bacon and egg baps, with coffee from the cafe around the corner for Hubby and I), I took the girls roller skating.  Although Miss M has been skating before, she is still very much a learner, and this was Miss T’s first time on a skating rink.  After a few false starts, they had a ball.  They raced each other and the clock.  There were “musical spots”, “show off your tricks” (i.e. manage not to fall over), and skating “limbo” (not surprisingly, the tiny tots on wheels won this one!).  A hurt tailbone and a sore wrist later, they can’t wait to come back!  All for a $2 entry fee!  A bit of frugal family fun for my new better budgeting segment I think.

The girls – in a good mood – even helped me with grocery shopping on the way home.  Well, not sure if “helped” is the right word, but they certainly took it upon themselves to fill up my trolley for me…

After lunch we did the traditional childhood thing and had the neighbourhood children over for an afternoon of hut building, playing board games, making a banana cake for afternoon tea and pizza for dinner.  Followed of course by ice cream sundaes.

Somehow we have been convinced that the neighbour should stay for a sleepover.  They dragged the spare TV into the hut, snuggled up in the piles of cushions and blankets under fairy lights and sheets and watched a movie.  And that is where they are now.  In the hut, on the floor, snuggled up in blankets and cushions.  Not quite asleep.

Building childhood school holiday memories.

XX

Accounting 4 Chaos school holiday #schoolholidays #schoolholidayfun #frugalfamilyfun


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lifestyle, Parenting

It’s the holidays!

July 14, 2018

It’s school holidays!  Well, to be fair the girls have been on holiday for a week already, but have been at school holiday programme.  NOW I am also on holiday for a week!

YAY!

Bring on a week of sleep ins, lazy mornings sipping coffee in the sun, reading blogs.  Movies with the kids.  A trip to the skating rink.  And a few days in Taupo.  A touch of prawn fishing (I will have to explain that one more when we do it!).  And Hubby may even take the girls skiing.

I have also set myself a few blog goals:

  • I’m writing a guest blog on ‘teaching your children the value of money’, I have timed this to get it done on my week off.
  • I want to get my ‘subscribe’ button working.
  • I’ll keep you all up to date with our holiday adventures 🙂

And of course there are a few boring jobs to do around the house.  I’ve already cleaned the linen cupboard.

Have a great week!

XX

Accounting 4 Chaos #schoolholidays #taupo

Lake Taupo winter holidays (a few years ago)

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Budgeting, Parenting

An Accountant’s guide to setting a family budget

July 13, 2018

So I might not win Mother of the Year, and I may not be the world’s biggest blogger, but one thing I do know how to do is set a family budget.

For starters, a family budget is a living breathing thing.  It needs to be set, worked with, reviewed, updated, reviewed again … and so forth.  Yes, strict accounting principles would say you don’t change a budget – if you can’t meet it, you failed and you need to examine why.  And whilst there is a very strong logic behind that rule, this is a family budget, and family needs change.

I have outlined a number of steps below to help you along your budgeting journey.

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lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

Nomadic life with teenagers – yes or no?

June 29, 2018

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

We have been reading blogs about life on the road, talking to travel bloggers with children, watching Netflix travel programmes made by full-time travel bloggers – and all the while wanting desperately to change our lives.

But there is something holding us back, so many reasons not to go.  A sense of security.  Two “amazing” jobs.  A pension plan.  School.  A community.  Family.

So the question is – do we buy an RV, take the kids out of school, and hit the road, or do we do the “sensible” thing and wait until they leave school – then hubby and I can travel to our hearts’ content?  BUT – so far none of our parents has managed to make it to retirement, so why plan for retirement?  Wouldn’t it be better to get out there and live NOW?

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lifestyle, Parenting

Our Prime Minister had a baby – is she really a role model?

June 25, 2018

So, our Prime Minister had a baby this week.  A little girl.  The PM will take six weeks “off” – but with her fingers still on the pulse.  And then she will be back to work, leading the country.

Jacinda Ardern announced her pregnancy merely weeks after being sworn in as Prime Minister.  The announcement prompted a nationwide conversation about working mothers and gender equality.

The question is – are we going to see a “superwoman” or are we going to see a real-life role model?

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