Hello?

Hello. Is anybody reading this?

I have really enjoyed creating the blog and sharing with you all each week.
Thank you for listening to me Waffle.

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This week I shared :
Autism Awareness day. 

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Something very close to my heart and job on Facebook twitter and Instagram   with wear blue for world Autism day.

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Miss Moo and I dressed in blue.

Fifo fly out day
Fly out day is always tough for fifo families and the time apart can be tough especially when our little ones don’t understand. I shared a pic of Miss Moo this Wednesday evening with her Daddy doll. Miss Moo only has her Daddy doll when her Daddy is away at work. 
Wish U Were Here Dolls make these wonderful dolls ( not sponsored). 
This week Miss Moo began telling everyone who would listen,  ‘ My Daddy is at work ‘.

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Where to next
I am feeling that Toddlersplusteens has come to an intersection and I am evaluating which direction to take.  There are so many wonderful blogs and bloggers out there who all have their own niches.
My aim when choosing a path is to keep it real and true to my original goal ; Talk to my readers like we are sharing a cuppa. 
What I want to know is,  what do you like or want to see on here?  Do you want to hear about real products for busy families?,  discussions?,  information and articles from guest writers?  Or more photos and reviews?  I want to hear from you, it can get boring talking to myself and I enjoy hearing what you have to say.

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Now I’m off to catchup on The 100 after a lovely visit to the ocean today and  sadly I have a mountain of clothes to fold that is too large to hide anywhere.

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Enjoy the moments

Jules 💜

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Sound the sirens – Miss Teens Ball night.

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Last night was a night of celebrations.
Miss Teen attended her ball night.
This is her final year of high school and it was a chance for her to feel like a princess and she certainly looked like one.

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A beautiful gesture was made by Miss Teens older siblings B1 and Mr Wings and their partners.  They made sure that Miss Teen & Her partner arrived in style. They spent the morning washing and polishing a vintage fire truck kindly donated for use on the night by a former firey.

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We are very lucky to live in a location that has a beautiful marina which set an amazing backdrop to preball photos.

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So the night is over and the end of a schooling era of four of our children is on the horizon (20 years).
This year will be intense in our house with year 12 exams for Miss Teen but I have my hard hat and safety gear on ready to go.

There will be further study and uni for some our kids which we look forward to supporting them with but
Mr T & T and I are seeing a window coming up before Miss Moo starts school and before we build our house, to Travel.
Time to plan an adventure.

The possibilities may not be endless but as many hours of playschool have taught us,  which window will we choose today.  Mmm,  will it be the  round,  square or arched window?

Enjoy the moments

Jules ūüíú

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Nostalgia

Memories – A song,¬† A photo,¬† A smell or¬† a moment.¬† So many things can trigger them. How precious are the memories that our past generations have and how do we keep them so they don’t get lost. How important are things to keeping our memories?
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The Decluttering in our house is ongoing and I am starting to get the hang of being brutal. At the moment it is Miss Moos baby clothes. I have kept a few special outfits and also her first shoes that she walked in which I have decided to frame over the next school holidays.

How easy it is to fill our houses and lives with things. I used to realise this more after we had been away camping. I also remember many years ago when a family on the same street we lived in our small town lost everything when they had a house fire.
Our district rallied and funds were raised, but for everyone in the community it touched a rare chord.  What if we lost all the possessions we owned today or tomorrow?

One of my favourite movies is Leap Year .  There is a great scene where the fire alarms go off and Anna ( Amy Adams) fiance Jeremy (Adam Scott) has to choose what to take with him in the rush to vacate and rushes around grabbing laptops etc.  If you had 2 minutes to vacate your house what would you grab?

One article I have found recently  inspiring is
Kelly Exeters РA life less Frantic recent article on her blog which may also help you with the decision you have been prolonging (like myself)  about whether to keep your wedding outfit.
When it’s time to let go of your wedding dress.

Mr T&T and I sadly no longer have any grandparents and the many wonderful stories that have been passed down to them will be missed out on by our kids.  I am still not sure how we can give the next generation the message of how important it is to make time for their grandparents and to listen to the stories because they hold history,  lessons and the key to our past.

Nostalgic I know but I will always treasure and miss the many long stories and talks with my wonderful Nan.

So today,  tonight,  tomorrow,  take the time to enjoy the moments and hold the memories in your heart.

Jules ūüíú

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Weekend Waffle – Three things

I thought it might be nice to change it up a bit and share three things –
New additions to my wardrobe,  Movie review and how much joy Miss Moo brings to our family.
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New wardrobe additions
Lately I have been taking a good look at the items in my wardrobe and added a few items (not sponsored). Over the next few weeks I look forward to sharing these items and how I wore them. 
Today I had a movie catchup with a gorgeous friend to see the movie Manny Lewis.
Previously on the blog I mentioned the wonderful Mojo Beach. 
A recent online sale tempted me with a huge wishlist.  From this wishlist I purchase a lovely printed tie shoulder top from the sale items. This top is so comfortable and easy to wear. Teamed with a pair of katies Ultimate Straight Jeans  ( these jeans are so forgiving)  and a pair of patent nude flats from Targets which were a bargain grab in February for $5.  This outfit also suited a coffee catchup after the movie.

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The link to the movie review is under the picture below.

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Manny Lewis movie review

Miss Moo

Our Miss Moo is very lucky to have four older siblings and they are all just as lucky to have her. Lots of our friends and family are suprised to see B1 (our eldest 22),¬† Mr Wings (20)¬† and Miss Teen (17) having fun playing tea parties,¬† playdough,¬† dollies,¬† chasey and waterplay with Miss Moo (2).¬† Unfortunately our second eldest child ( Mr 21)¬† lives 5 hrs away so sadly doesn’t get to enjoy this experience as much as the others.¬† Rarely a day goes by where Miss Moo is not entertained by her brother and sisters or should I say she entertains them.¬†
So when people ask if Miss Moo is missing out not having anyone close to her age in her family the answer is a firm¬† ” not a chance “. They say pictures speak a thousand words,¬† so I’ll just let the pictures below speak for themselves.¬†

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Enjoy the moments

Jules 💜

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Manny Lewis – movie review

Manny Lewis is Carl Barons film debut as an actor.
Written by Carl Barron and Anthony Muir and produced by Martin Fabinyi. 
Is Carl Barron Just another comedian trying to break into the film industry like the many that have gone before him?

Carl Barron stars as Manny Lewis,¬† a comedian just like himself .¬† Manny Lewis gives an insight into the life of a comedian and what it’s like being famous.¬† Manny encounters fans in both female and male forms.¬† His meeting with the beautiful Maria (Leeanna Walsman)¬†
who has the desire to embrace life spontaneously comes with its own twist and complications.

Armed with popcorn I went to see this movie with a friend expecting lots of laughs and a light storyline. Mannys relationship with his father and it’s complexities keep the storyline real.¬†
Carl Barron proves that he is more than a comedian with his ability to reach a range of emotions and make them believable. 

Gather your popcorn or snack of your choice,  a friend or loved one and head to your local cinema.  Manny Lewis is
A film worth seeing.¬† You don’t have to be a Carl Barron fan to see this movie and if you are then I suggest you head in with an open mind as the film is much more than a comedy performance.¬†

Jules 💜

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Mummy Martyrs

Thank goodness it is Friday!
Believe me when I say I love what I do and I made the choice to balance working,  being a mummy ( very thankful for our gifts) and a wife of a fifo husband.
But I’m really feeling it at the moment.¬† I’m tired and my whole body hurts.

I have been a mummy for 23 years in May which is nearly half my life. I thank God for the gift of our 5 kids every day.
It has taken me years to realise that I can’t be a good Mum and wife if I don’t look after myself. For a long time I was the mummy martyr soldier.¬† Doing everything then whinging to Mr T & T about my exhaustion.¬† The whinging wife (do you know her?) because shameful to admit it was me.¬† For years I was told to take some timeout for me by Mr T & T and friends.

Unfortunately mummy martyrs get sick as well and when your balancing work,  parenting and being a fifo wife the walls can come crashing down with a bang.
This Mummy Martyrs found out the hard way last year when our Miss Moo had a long run of illnesses that always seemed to happen when Mr T & T was away. I soldiered on until I became very ill at the same time as Miss Moo was recovering from the flu.¬† I didn’t ask for Mr T & T to come home I soldiered on until he came home and I crashed.
Medical advice finally conquered all and my pride was crushed as I was told that I had to slow down and make changes if I wanted to be here to see my beautiful kids grow up.

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What a slap in the face that was.¬† How the hell was I going to make changes.¬† Who would do all the jobs I did, as Henny Penny said ‘The sky is falling ‘,¬† or in my case it was going to fall.

Long story cut short as it was a journey that saw Mr T & T and my older kids disarm me and force me to stand down from my post and fast forward to this week and changes that have been made.
Yesterday I snuck off after work before anyone could catch me and before picking Miss Moo up to get a neck,  shoulder and feet massage.  Being the cheapskate I am I went to the local Chinese massage place and it was great.  I came out minus the headache I had carried for the last week and not clenching my teeth.
Today B1 is coming over to play with Miss Moo while I get a much needed haircut ( time to control the fluffy fro) and on Sunday I am going to the movies with a friend.

Yes I have a long list of jobs to get done but I’m taking some time to unravel and step back from my post so that I can be a better Mummy.

Nagging self doubts,¬† you can take a hike.¬† My Mummy comrades I hope you get to take a breather no matter how small.¬† Most of all if you need help ask for it ( it’s ok to)¬† and if you don’t get it shout.¬† Over and out.

Enjoy the moments

Jules 💜

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Chillax – weekend Waffle

Is it just me or are people more stressed and starting to use it as an excuse to be rude to others?

Stress
It is out there in large amounts and seems to be affecting everyone.  The stress express is taking more of us along for the journey.

So we are all on our own daily journey with varying time on the stress express.¬† I know I am but I’m getting more aware of identifying when it’s time to get off instead of waiting to push the emergency button.

A recent grocery shopping trip with Miss Moo ( 2) alerted me to aisle rage.¬† Now anyone who has ever been shopping with a toddler in tow knows that it can be difficult no matter how prepared you are. We were well prepared for this trip.¬† We went in the morning,¬† snacks were packed,¬† mini etcher sketch and toys were in bag.¬† We were set. This shopping trip was going to go well. Miss Moo was happily strapped in and munching her snacks as we headed down the dairy aisle and prepared for a right turn into isle 2.¬† Then out of nowhere a trolley comes around the corner with full force and cuts us off. Before I have time to say anything to the couple behind the trolley the woman was half way down the aisle voicing her disapproval about people needing to be more careful ect… .¬† Sadly the rest of our shopping trip continued in the same manner and I found myself feeling the happiness continue to drain away.¬† I felt the need to run far away and turned¬† to my eldest B1 who had accompanied us and said “Let’s hurry and get the hell out of here “.
When we were finally out of the shop with our icecreams firmly  in our hands (compensation for food shopping), I began to think that maybe we need to have lanes painted in the aisles just like our roads and free parking vouchers like monopoly for those people who play nice when shopping.

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Is this the way it has to be? Do we need rules to play nice. After all we all have crap days and things happen to us all.¬† How can we deal with our stress so we don’t take our shizzle out on others?

Tips for chillaxing – advice I’ve read that works or is worth trying.
1. Breathe & count to 10 in your head ( repeat if you need)
2. Exercise Рyes it works ( choose something you enjoy preferably or just walk).  I enjoy body balance class and walking.
3. Laugh every day ( read a good joke or follow a good blog,  watch a sitcom or funny movie)
4. Download some good apps Рsome i like and use (not sponsored)  are:
* Nature sounds relax and sleep. Go to sleep to sounds of ocean or outdoors ( android)
* Relax and rest guided meditations – 5, 13 or 24 mins ( android or iPhone)
Remember it takes time to develop your own strategies to help cope with stress and I can’t express enough how important it is to talk to someone and get some professional advice.

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I’d love to see more people spend less¬† time on the Stress Express and be kinder to themselves and other people.

Ps – I’ve yet to meet anyone who enjoys food shopping yet?
If you do then I’d love to hear their tips.

So remember to chillax and enjoy the moments.

Jules ūüíú

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Friday the thirteen celebration

Many superstitious people will be busy today being extra careful not to spill the salt during meals , avoiding construction sites in fear of ladders, stearing clear of black cats and taking precautionary measures not to break any mirrors or open an umbrella indoors for fear of bad luck.
For many people 13 is an unlucky number but in our house 13 is a reason to celebrate.
On Friday the 13th 17 years ago our beautiful Miss Teen arrived in the world and was welcomed into our family.
Also Miss Moo was born in 2013 but today is all about Miss Teen and we are thankful to be her parents everyday plus in awe of her generous heart and the young woman she has become.
Miss Teen is our fourth child who was also the baby of the family for 15 years until Miss Moo arrived.
Right up until Miss Teen was born I would have to describe myself as being very superstisious and I will also sheepishly admit to being concerned while giving birth about her being born on Friday the 13th.
I am now more than happy to walk under a ladder, spill salt and if a mirror broke tomorrow then I could safely say that I would happily just replace it and move on Although I do still struggle with having shoes on the table.
The reality hit home on Friday the 13th 1998 – I could let superstitions ruin my moments and cause me stress plus even blame superstitions if things went wrong or enjoy the celebrations in life without the salt throwing , black cat avoiding etc.

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Taken when Miss Teen was 15 and Miss Moo 3 months

 

Superstitions are often passed down from generation to generation as well as traditions but in our case many of our family traditiins have been created.
With Birthday celebrations being one .
Birthdays are very special in our family and it is a tradition for people to choose what they would like to eat for their birthday dinner .
Today Miss Teen decided she would like sushimi & sushi for her bday dinner and a watermelon cake .
So today I have been busy preparing sushi & Miss Teens favourite sushimi plus a watermelon cake.
I had my first attempt at making a cake completely from fruit .
I’m undecided if I should be labelling this as nailed it or a sucess but I’ll leave that up to you to decide from the photo below.

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Nailed it ? Ill let you decide !

Unfortunately Mr T +T was at work but I really like that we have Skype especially today as it meant Mr T + T was able to sing happy birthday with us and  be a part of the celebration.
Who remembers being Seventeen, not quite an adult but no longer a child ? Its an inbetween age but also as parents for us it means our little girl is closer to being an adult.

On that note I am off to start making that list of things I would like to do , see and share with Miss Teen over a nice glass of wine while waiting out the storm (our location is currently on yellow alert. Please listen to the advice given and stay off the roads and inside if you are in affected areas.
Stay safe and enjoy the moments.

Jules¬† 💜

Living the dream

Living the dream is a common saying in the FIFO world.
Sometimes it is said with a cynical tone to it.¬† Meaning ; I’m working my butt off and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m tired as hell. For our family it also means quality time and working towards our goals of building a house on our 9 Acres and travelling. 

Mr T+T works a 2/1 roster and has been doing this for 4 years and before that his job involved being away for work for up to two weeks but with only a few hours notice. With his job now we know when he is going to be home which means we can make plans.

So many negative comments are made about FIFO life and it’s affects on people and families. FIFO life is not suited to everyone but it does have its good side.

Our week together
What does our week off look like and how do we make it work? 
Yes it does take work but it really pays off.

Don’t overplan
Trying to cram everything in doesn’t work!¬† Don’t expect your¬† partner to do two weeks worth of jobs on their R + R.¬† Try and choose three things that you want to do each R & R and they can be different each time.
This R & R has been spent achieving three of our goals below.
1. Getting all our beautiful children together for a family picture can be a challenge. Miss Moos daycare requested a family picture for their family wall. So on Saturday we all (minus our eldest son -21 who lives 5 hrs away and will have his own photo attached ) met at a park and set up the tripod and camera on timer and had some fun. 
2. Before our sea change to a small city we lived in the country for 19 years.
So making sure Miss Moo understands where vegies,  meat,  eggs and fish really come from is important to us.
So yesterday we headed off to Bunnings to buy a new swing seat and some equipment to set up a small garden trolley for Miss Moo to help grow her own vegetables.¬† We brought the small one below for $49 but there are loads of plans on Pinterest to make your own. For us atm time is valuable when Mr T + T is home but it is on our agenda to make larger ones later. Ok ladies please don’t condemn me but….¬† I actually find Bunnings relaxing and Miss Moo likes it too.

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3. So many of our memories and great conversations have been made and taken place while sharing a meal at our table.
So on Friday night Mr T + T got his Jamie Oliver on and cooked his family famous РDazzas chicken and we had a lovely family dinner.  I have included a link to Mr T + Ts versions of the recipe on the link below. 
Dazzas Chicken

Spending time near the ocean is something we all Enjoy. We spent time at one of our favourite spots on Friday РCape Burney,  which I wrote about on Friday Flutters this week.

Making time for romance and to enjoy each others company is important. For many years it was a conversation we had. Men and women are different and I’m not saying all women like flowers and romance but for me it matters.¬† So receiving flowers and also drinking bubbly wine while watching the sunset are a tradition now. Getting some alone time with a two year old,¬† teenager and adult children can be a challenge but it is do-able. We often head¬† to bed early and take an afternoon nap on the weekend.

On Friday we watched the movie The English Teacher I have written a short review of the movie.  Just follow the link below.
The English Teacher movie review

Im not saying that FIFO Family life is a walk in the Park. Mr T + T hasn’t been fishing in a while and some of the crappiest things often happen when he is away at work.¬† Like our son Mr Wings (20) moving out of home and when we first found out Miss Teen had a boyfriend.
Sometimes some major decisions need to be made during work time. This isn’t just hard for me but also Mr T + T who wants to be here.

The most important thing is communication.  Talk,  txt,  Skype and email each other. Do one of these things at least each day.

Most of all

Enjoy the moments
Jules 💜