Making family holidays a priority – With The Whittakers

After returning from our first family holiday recently, actually – make that first ever overseas holiday since Nare and I have been together… I realised that it’s something I want to do more often (read ‘more than once every 5 years!’). However – we are just your average one income family that pays a mortgage, so flitting off on an overseas holiday once a year (though sounds amazing) isn’t something we can afford to do. Yes we can save, but like lots of other families – there isn’t actually that much extra money each week, to put into savings!

I’ve been thinking about other ways that we can save some money to go towards holidays, and when I was introduced to the new Flight Centre MasterCard – I thought it was a great initiative for families like us. Now before you think ‘nooooo not a credit card Jordan!’… yes it is a credit card. And yes I feel credit cards get a bit of a bad wrap because they scream “DEBT!”. However if used in the right way I believe they can be super beneficial.

Let me explain…

For every NZ $100 you spend on your Flight Centre MasterCard – you get 1 Flight Centre Reward. When redeemed, this equates to $1 to spend on your travel. It may not seem like a lot, but it is something that you wouldn’t have had otherwise – so it actually seems silly not to do it!

I’m talking everyday purchases here… $200 of groceries = $2 towards a holiday! If you spent $200 a week on groceries, that’s a 104 Flight Centre Rewards ($104) in 1 year – and that’s just groceries! Think of all the online shopping purchases you do (well… I do), that you and I could be racking up rewards for to go towards your next family holiday. Petrol, phone bill, internet bill – the list of everyday purchases goes on (that adult life!)

I’m also not talking about getting yourself into mountain loads of debt, I’m more meaning using the Flight Centre MasterCard for everyday purchases – which you pay off regularly. Whether that be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

The Whittakers are going to be giving this a go and seeing if we can gather up some rewards to spend on our next family holiday… where to next?

J x

To the men in our lives: what to do when we cry…

 

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  1. Ask if we are okay. We are aware it’s very much obvious that we’re not okay. But ask anyway. This gives us the opportunity to word vomit all over you about why we’re upset, who upset us, why we feel this way… even if you don’t really want to listen just nod and say “it’s okay” or “that sucks” every so often. Even if it’s not okay and it doesn’t even suck, again – we’re aware of this but it makes it sound like you care, so just roll with it.
  2. Hug us. This needs to pretty much come immediately after point 1, 90% of the time it might even need to be at the same time. We’re 0.9767 seconds away from bursting into a full blown Kim K ugly cry now, and the last thing we want is for that to happen while you’re staring us in the eye. We know – it ain’t pretty! So be quick and get in there with the hug, then we can ugly cry into your shoulder instead. Don’t worry –  we’ll wash the mascara stains out of your shirt later.
  3. Get us a treat. Chocolate, ice cream, hot drink, Lift Plus… whatever floats your gals boat – get it. ASAP. (Note: not YOUR idea of a treat either AKA “lets go to bed babe”. Don’t even think about suggesting that right now). The ugly cry is over but that doesn’t mean we’re not still dwelling on all the things we word vomited in point 2 and our head is still a foggy mess of emotions. Bonus points if we have kids and you take them out for even just half an hour, to give us a moment to breathe.
  4. The next day… The next day reassure us that you were semi listening to our emotional word vomit the day prior, a quick “Hope you have a better day today” or maybe leave a note on the bench if you leave early – don’t wake us up to say that. It’s cute, but not THAT cute.
  5. Not quite out of the woods. When you get home from work that evening (day after meltdown), ask us how our day was. I’m warning you though, this could go one of two ways. Either you will be back at point 2 very quickly… OR you will be thankfully greeted with “Better, thanks for caring babe! Lets have sex tonight.” Good luck if it goes the first way!Happy wife, happy life – am I right?

    J x

Summer Hack – How to make it ONE WEEK without washing your hair.

Whenever I mention how long I go in between hair washes, I get inundated with shocked face emojis and questions on how I do it. So thought I would do ONE WEEK worth of photos and hair styles, showing what products and tools I use to keep my hair looking good (or ‘presentable’) over that time. I actually go more like TWO weeks between washes, however I know that is a bit extreme for most, so I thought ONE week is a bit more achievable. So I’ve condensed down what I would do across the two weeks, into one.

Before we get to the hair styles… a quick word on hydration. Hydration is not only super important for your body, but also for your hair. If your hair follicles lack water, your hair may become dry or brittle… this can slow down and even stop the growth of your hair. So it’s super important to stay hydrated! Staying hydrated helps in retaining the natural beauty of your hair and helps it grow thick and long. I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect, and drink my recommended intake of water every single day, but I do try my best! This summer I’ve been having OVI Hydration drinks most days. They’re a delicious infusion of water, fruit juice, honey and natural minerals with antioxidants from green tea, designed to keep you hydrated.

My headaches have been noticeably less and I’ve enjoyed the different flavours, encouraging me to drink.

WASH: I don’t use a lot of products in my hair. Just a good purple shampoo from my hairdresser and then cheap supermarket shampoo + conditioner. I don’t find purple shampoos to do a great job at giving my hair a really good wash (and after two weeks – it needs it!), so I purely use that for the toning factor and use the other shampoo for a real wash (before the purple shampoo). I wash my hair in the shower at night and leave to dry naturally while I sleep.

 

DAY 1: I always do an initial straighten, straight after washing my hair – because I don’t love my natural hair. It’s quite fluffy, curly and unruly. If I’m in a hurry I use my Hairstyla which takes all of 5 minutes. If I have extra time I use my GHD for a dead straight look. I try to remember to use heat protectant spray, because apparently you should 😉

DAY 2: No products today. We’re trying to make it to a week remember, so don’t whip out the dry shampoo yet! Give your roots a ruffle up and whip your hair up into a bun or pony tail (I’m a mum-bun gal but have done a pony to show you, or you might get sick of my mum-buns!) if you don’t want to have another down straight day. If your hair is looking/feeling a bit oily you could tease some of the roots so that it doesn’t look too slicked back when you tie it up. Pulling a few shorter strands of hair out around your face is nice too, if you like that kind of look.

DAY 3: Alright, first day of dry shampoo! My holy grail product! Give it a decent spray all over your roots and then use your fingers to massage it in (or you’ll look grey). Now, lets not waste the dry shampoo by tying our hair up… grab your straightener or curling wand and put some curls in the ends of your hair. Messy curls are “in” so don’t worry if they’re uneven, you can even give it a brush through to really loosen them up. You could use hairspray on the ends if your hair doesn’t hold curls well.



DAY 4: I know by now you probably REALLY want to wash your hair, or wear it up… but we’re going to try another day down. Even if you only last till lunch time – thats cool. Are you noticing a pattern here? Down, up, down, up… You’ll likely still have some messy curls from the day before, so give them a ruffle up and you’re good to go. You could try changing your part for a different look. No products today!



DAY 5: Alright, you can breathe a sigh of relief – it’s mum-bun from here on in! Go hard on the dry shampoo today, because none tomorrow! You can pony tail it, or bun – whatever floats ya boat.

Day 6: For me – today is mum-bun take 2, no extra dry shampoo today… ya’ll have seen those memes right? The 90% dry shampoo ones? I ALWAYS get tagged in them, and now you know why!
If you’re not a huge bun gal, you could do a pony tail on bun days – you could also change it up by putting your pony into a plait! I’ve done that here to show you an example.


Day 7: Do whatever hairstyle you like to get you through this last day! If you wash your hair in the morning – bonus! You’re done! But if you’re like me and wash in the evening, then you have one more day of mum-bun. I won’t blame you if you use a tiiiiiiny bit more dry shampoo 😉  

  • I do understand that everyone’s hair is different. What works for me may not work for you. I know plenty of people that wash their hair everyday in fact! Here’s a few tips if you’re a regular hair washer and would like to stretch it out a little:
  • If you don’t already own it, and haven’t figured out from this post so far that you NEED to own it… then this is me telling you to GO AND BUY SOME DRY SHAMPOO!
  • Try not to touch your hair too much, that brings out the natural oils in your hair faster than necessary – so keep your mitts off your head!
  • If you wash your hair everyday, start small. Start stretching it to every second, then every third. Jumping straight to once a week may make you feel like you can never leave the house 😉
  • If you’re not a huge hair down person, no big deal -tie it up! But don’t go up down up down all day long. That’s extra touching – and same as the first tip, will make your hair oilier than you want it.
  • Buy yourself a shower cap. The extra moisture from the shower gets all on your hair on non-wash days, which can make the straighten/curls not last as well. So keeping your hair bone dry is a goodie!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog! I’ve been recently researching the whole ‘no poo’ thang and I’m eager to do it – maybe that’ll be my next hair related blog post!

Thanks OVI Hydration for sponsoring this post and for keeping me hydrated this summer!

J x

#ovisummer #ovinz #summermadeeasy

Mum uniform pants for every budget

Disclaimer: No you do not have to be a Mum to wear these pants, heck you can be a male and wear these pants if it floats ya boat.

I call them ‘Mum uniform’ because, well… we have those days where we 1. Don’t fit our jeans or 2. Just don’t want to wear jeans all day. But we also know we have to leave the house at some stage, so those ugly ‘never be seen by the public’ trackies aint gonna cut it! ‘Mum uniform’ pants don’t dig into the extra loving we have on our hips, or cling to the extra sagging of that mum bootay that grew 10 times the size in pregnancy. They’re perfect really. So say hello to the ‘mum uniform’ 😉 Paired with whatever top you like, jandals/chucks, mum bun and you’re ready to rock!

I’m a huge fan of these comfy harem style pants and I often get asked where my faves are from. So along with telling you where mine are from, I’ve put together a list of others in all different price ranges – I’m sure you’ll find some that are in your budget! Though I can’t comment on the quality of all of these as I don’t own a pair from every store, the ones that I DO own – I will add my thoughts on how they fit and wear 🙂

Love Knot War – Floral Fade Slouch Pants + Dawn Til Dusk Slouch Pants – $149.00. Sizes 6-16.  These are beautifully made, super comfy, have the perfect thick waist band and the elastic is sewn in so that it doesn’t twist about, nice big pockets and wash up like new. (I have the floral fade)

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Madame Goblin – Madame Basic Pant + Madame Super Stripe Pant – $99. Sizes XS-L.

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Bam + Boo – MumMe Duffle Pants -$69.95. Sizes S-L. These are made from a beautifully soft organic cotton, super light weight and can be worn either down to the ankle or you can pull the ankle up a bit so they’re shorter (as shown in pic).

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Pagan Marie – Kombie Pant – $55. Sizes 6-16.

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The Warehouse – Jersey Harem Pant – $20.00. Sizes 8-16.

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Maybe this is the start of a new ‘Mum uniform’ series 😉

J x

 

Separation Anxiety… not just for the kids. 

Ok here goes, I’ve just opened up about this on Snapchat and had a heap of replies from people in the same boat – which has made me feel a whole lot better and not so much like an egg. Saying it out loud to a friend last night and then again on snapchat, I felt super lame… but I’m going to write it out here so that others know they’re not a weirdo – it’s actually pretty common. Or we’re both weirdos 😉

So here’s how it goes… we book in a date night eg last night for our wedding anniversary. I am super excited about it all day and leaving for it… then I get out and start feeling ill. Like I could vomit. I can stomach liquids but can’t stomach my meal. Most times I order food thinking ‘Jordan get over yourself and just eat the food’ but I take a few measly mouthfuls then call it a night. This happens every time. Every time we go out without the kids, every time I’ve ever gone away overnight (okay it’s only been like three times every – but every time I’ve got sick). Nare’s words ‘You’re as attached to the kids as they are to you’. Yes that sounds uber lame. But it’s true… I have separation anxiety just like they do. 

It’s not because I’m worried about who I’ve left them with either, I only ever leave them with friends or family that I 100% trust and feel comfortably if the kids would wake. I just come up with all these crazy scenarios… what if there’s another big earthquake, what if we had a car crash and the kids lost us both, what if there was a fire. I know it’s silly but I literally can not shut off from those thoughts!  

I’ve spoken about my anxiety around the earthquakes before, but it’s obviously so much more than that and has been around for longer… but I’ve never admitted it. I’ve never said ‘I have anxiety’.  I suppose I didn’t believe I did and it always sounded so silly telling people about how leaving my kids makes me physically ill. 

I’m just opening up about it in hope that it can even make one person feel a little less like crazy 💘

 I’m always here to talk if anyone needs to chat 💕

J x 

A letter to my future self

Dear Future Self,

I hope you’re well. I hope you’re busy, but also taking time to yourself for things that YOU like to do. I hope you talk to your kids often, and tell them that you love them. Even your Grandkids? Show them that you care, make time for them. But also make time for yourself. I hope you’ve been on a holiday with your husband lately, have you? If you just shook your head, then go and book one right now. Anywhere, just go.

This year, two thousand and sixteen, you bought your first home with your husband and two kids. Your life is good. It’s perfect, actually. You’re healthy, you’re a stay-at-home Mum to your two beautiful children in your amazing first home, life couldn’t be better. Your priority is your family, and that’s just the way you like it. They come first, always.

Buying your first home was scary, getting a mortgage was scary… that amount of money was SCARY! During the process you had a meeting about getting your life insurance up to date because now that you owned a home and had another baby, you would need more than before. You were asked some questions that made you think… ‘if you died, would your husband be able to take time off to look after the kids?’, ‘Would he be able to be off work and continue paying the mortgage?’, ‘Would you even want him to have to pay the mortgage?’ ‘What would happen if you got too sick to care for your kids?’. You hadn’t thought about these kinds of things before. You got flustered and teary during the meeting, thinking of all the ‘what ifs’. You were told that there wasn’t anything you could do to change the future, but be prepared and ensure that things would be well looked after if anything did happen. So that’s what you did.

It was a weight off your shoulders.

Future Self, know that some days are difficult. They are riddled with self-doubt and fear. But don’t fret, don’t dwell on it… go outside and get some fresh air, tell yourself how awesome you are, and continue to be the amazing person that you strive to be.

Spend time with people that build you up, that make you happy. Don’t waste time on negative people that will only bring you down, you don’t need them in your life. Be content with what you have, don’t compare yourself to others. Be envious and encouraging instead of jealous and bitter.

And most of all… love harder.

J x


Thinking and writing this made me feel so at peace with the fact that I know my future self, and my family in the future, will always be looked after. Did you know that New Zealanders are amongst the most under insured populations in the world? Isn’t that terrible? We either don’t have it or we don’t have the right type of cover. I get it – it’s hard to spend money on something that doesn’t “give you anything back” but, for the cost of a bottle of wine a month, you could secure your future. It’s really that simple.

So my question to YOU is: will your future self be looked after? If the answer is NO then I highly recommend you click HERE which will take you through to Sovereign’s website where you can find out more information on the types of cover you need. Make it happen, guys. I know it’s one of those ‘things’ that gets shoved to the end of the ‘to do’ list, but please take some time to get it sorted – your future self won’t regret it!

* WIN WIN WIN *

I have an amazing prize pack to giveaway to one lucky person… Ya’ll know how much I love Magnolia Kitchen, you will win: 2x Fudge, 2x salted caramel, 2x smores kits, 1x Choc chunk cookie bag + 1x vegan double choc cookie bag. That’s $100 worth of MK treats!! AND that’s not all – in your package will also be $100 worth of Ethique goodies, for you to pamper yourself! Head over to my Facebook page to enter 🙌🏼 


Thank you Sovereign NZ for sponsoring this post – and hopefully giving someone the push that they needed, to secure their future!

Just another ‘average Mum’


I saw this term used today, referring to some clothing that someone claimed is  “too expensive for the average Mum”.
It got me thinking… What makes an average Mum? Am I average? Are you average? Seriously, what is this ‘average Mum’ category?

So I’m over here thinking I’m just another ‘average Mum’, but this person who commented the above – obviously thinks I’m not. Because ironically I’m wearing the garment in question, in my Facebook profile picture. So she is average, and I’m not. Right? No, wrong. 

We are on one income. My husband works to pay the bills and support us. We own a home, we have a mortgage, we pay house/contents/car/life insurances. Sounds pretty average to me – right? Yes I do some paid blog work, but I tell you – it’s far from a full time job/income, because I have children and don’t have enough time to make it one. It’s great having a little extra money – not gonna lie… and when it comes in, it is usually spent on stuff for the kids or stuff for the house that we’ve been wanting. Still sounds pretty average, yeah? 

I on-sell my kids clothes that they’ve grown out of, to build up some money to purchase new stuff for the next season. Again – I’m sure this is a done thing and pretty average. 

My husband and I don’t buy a lot of clothes for ourselves. I get gifted the odd garments, which I am always so grateful for. But other than that, I shop at places like Cotton On – average places. 

My husband, the amazing man he is… knows how much I love the Love Knot War items I’ve been gifted in the past. So for my Birthday and Christmas he bought me a few of their dresses. He put them on layby and paid them off in small amounts as he could and so that I wouldn’t notice it in our bank statements. I had no clue! Clever, clever and average. Obviously I don’t think my husband is average, I think he’s amazing and I was blown away that he put so much thought into 3 beautiful garments – but what I’m saying is that he used a layby system just like your average jo. 

My point… I’m just another ‘average Mum’. I’m just as ‘average’ as the next woman walking down the street. We’re an ‘average’ one income family just doing their best. 

Actually, that’s not my point! My point is: there is no ‘average Mum’! I’m the same as the next Mum, we’re just a normal one income family doing our best. If you can’t afford that expensive dress and it’s not a priority to layby one or save for one – that’s totally cool! But please don’t put yourself in a different category to me or anyone else, and claim that you’re therefore an ‘average Mum’. Because you’re not! You’re a Mum. Full stop. You put your children above yourself, just like the rest of us. You *heart eyes* at lots of different things you’d love to buy yourself. You fill up your online shopping cart, cancel out of it, then go and buy something that your kids need. You’re a Mum, I’m a Mum. 

J x

Thoughts on the Clek Foonf convertable carseat

The New Zealand distributor for Clek approached us a few months back to see if we would like to give a Clek Foonf carseat a go and write a review on it, I’d seen these carseats before (they’re quite memorable being so darn pretty!) and I loved the idea of having another slimline carseat rather than the ‘space ship’ we called Marlo’s carseat. So obviously we took her up on the offer! We’ve been using the seat rear facing for Marlo, since it arrived, and now that we’ve given it a good trial – I thought it was about time I gave you our thoughts…

** disclaimer: I am not a carseat technician, nor do I have lots of knowledge in the carseat world. These are purely my thoughts based on our use of the seat in comparison to the other two types of carseats we have owned. I am aware that the chest clip is not in the ideal place on Brooklyn in the photos – however he is only in the garage so don’t fret/judge me 😉  **

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Marlo – 15 months old

A little bit about the seat first… Clek call the Foonf ‘The mother of all car seats’. It is literally the only car seat your child will need. The Foonf has the most advanced safety technology, meaning that a 3 yr old ff has similar forces in a crash as if they were rear facing (which was an industry first). It is designed to rear face up until four years old, is super slim line (you can fit 3 across!) and comes in a beautiful range of colours. It uses REACT (rigid latch energy absorbing crumple technology) which absorbs the crash forces instead of your child. You can click HERE to see/read more about it and in depth specifications and what not. 

My favourite features:

The rear facing angle adjuster. We’ve always had to use rolled up towels to get a correct install of our previous carseat when rear-facing. So to have this part (which comes with the seat) which easily clips on and gives the seat the perfect rear facing angle – is awesome! It does make the seat quite high, but it’s not an issue.

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The anti-rebound bar. ‘When in rear facing mode (it isn’t used in forward facing mode), this provides extra stability of the seat, limiting rotation of the seat.’ It’s so easy to get a snug install with the rebound bar holding it still, and of course it would be extra protection in the case of a collision.

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Slimline. This carseat is super narrow which I love, its the same width as the Diono RXT – so yes! You can fit 3 across! It is 43.2cms at it’s widest. Marlo previously had an Evenflo Symphony (the ‘spaceship’) which basically made the middle seat in the back unusable… so it’s nice to be able to use it again – even if it can only fit skinny bums 😉 You can see it’s slighly slimmer than our Diono Olympia (Brooklyn’s seat) as it goes straight up rather than slanting out slightly like the top of the Olympia does. We have a Mitubishi Outlander, for reference.

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Isofix. Having a car that enables the use of ISOFIX, I would never own a carseat that doesn’t have it. SO easy to get a snug installation without taking it to a tech and not a total pain in the butt if you need to take it in and out.

The look. Okay it’s pretty obvious that this seat is no doubt the most beautiful of all carseats, I mean heeelllloooo you only have to look at it to realise that! I especially love this colour (cloud) with the white back. but there are loads of other funky colour ways too! Also note the wipable fabric, which I have tried (think cherry picking masacre) – and it wipes clean so easily!

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A few people asked to see some photos of Brooklyn in the seat – so here they are. Headrest is obviously moved up for him and it isn’t reclined. This also shows the seat sitting in the car in a forward facing position. You can see it sits quite a lot higher than our other seat, not a negative or positive – just worth pointing out. Though it is a similar depth and in our car, doesn’t sit off the edge of the seat – which I like (same as the Olympia).

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Brooklyn – 4 years old, approx 110cms tall

The price of the Foonf is pretty up there at $899, but with a 9 year expiration you definitely won’t need another seat.

That pretty much sums it up! If you have any specific questions, feel free to fire them my way – I’ll do my best to answer,  but if I can’t I’ll ask the experts 😉 You can find a retailer for the Clek Foonf in NZ HERE.

J x

 

3 ingredient super yummy iceblocks


We make these a lot and I often get asked on Snapchat for the recipe, but I feel like it’s not even a recipe… it’s literally only 3 ingredients! But seeing as my kids love them, and they’re healthy… it is worth sharing 🙌🏼

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 1 large banana
  • Fresh berries (of any kind)

Method:

  • Blitz together coconut cream and banana using a blender/bullet.
  • Add a few fresh berries to the bottom of each ice block mould.
  • Pour coconut + banana mixture over the top.
  • Freeze.
  • Enjoy.

That is literally it! So perfect for hot days, or not hot days where you just want some toddler silence for 10 mins 😉 We used fresh raspberries in these ones, but they’re delish with kiwifruit, blue berries, heck – anything! You could even do a mixture!


Moulds above are from The Warehouse – pack of 6 for $8 👌🏼

J x