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How I Started Living With Less.

living with less
How I started on my journey of living with less…

 

 

If I lived on my own I’d have virtually no possessions , no TV , and a very organised and tidy house . But I don’t , and as I can’t get rid of everyone else’s possessions I have to find a way of dealing with their “stuff” but continue in my quest of living with less stuff.
My partner is a borderline hoarder who still keeps boxes from phones he no longer possesses !
I too battled for years to contain my “stuff  ,  I would stuff it all in drawers , cupboards and the garage . The house would be serene looking on the surface but the inner workings were a tangled mess of chaos .


 

So what changed ?

I had the ever pulling urge to get rid of everything I owned, to make my overstuffed drawers and cupboards as clutter free as the surfaces so I started to get rid of stuff and it felt great  but I just kept filling up the newly acquired space with new purchases.

Then one day , I stumbled across a book which put me on a journey to simplifying my life ,  it immediately changed my attitude to shopping and clutter, it gave me a plan , a way to achieve the “click point” in my life , where I can  actively live with less and  everything I own sparks joy .
If you only read one book this year make it this one!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

the author takes you step by step through all the categories to help you simplify your life.

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Thoughts!
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read Marie’s book or are thinking about simplifying and living with less but don’t know where to start ! Drop us a line in the comments below we love to chat!


 

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Posted in Healthy eating, Organising, parenting

Why I Allow My Kids To Be In Control Of Their Own Snacks.

Why I give my kids a snack box
Snack time

How I stop my kids from constantly asking for food.

The holidays are a fabulous time for re connecting with the kids . However it can be a time when the demands (especially for food ) get ramped up a notch or two .

My kids normally start the “can I have ” barrage three minutes after eating breakfast. They would happily eat all day if I let them .

As a parent I obviously want to give them treats but still want to give them a healthy balance of fruit and veg . I also want to curb the constant request for snacks .

How do I stop them mithering ?

Enter the snack box !

What is a snack box ?

It’s a bag or box which I fill at breakfast , it usually has mainly healthy snacks in ,with one or two treats depending on what we have planned for the day .

healthy snack ideas

  • Raisins
  • Dried apricots
  • Dried figs
  • Dates
  • Prunes
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Apple
  • Crackers
  • Bread sticks
  • Dried apple
  • Dried mango
  • Yogurt

treat ideas

  • Banana chips
  • Biscuits
  • Crisps
  • Sweets
  • Doritos
  • Savoury cheese snacks

I tend to pick two snacks from the healthy list and one from the unhealthy list .

The kids are given the bag at breakfast and they are responsible for when they eat the contents. They are aware that when they have eaten all the snacks there are no more between meals . My five year old makes sure he keeps his treat for watching tv after dinner !

How does it work ?

  • They are in control of when they eat.
  • It takes the guesswork out of snack time.
  • They don’t constantly ask for snacks because they can visually see what is available for the full day .
  • The bags  are portable so we do not get caught out with nothing to eat when we are  out .
  • They can differentiate between the healthy food and the treats .
  • It is a good way to monitor the amount of treats they are having in a day .
  • The kids get excited to see their bags in the morning!

I do not include snacks for after school activities such as swimming , martial arts , rugby etc as I usually take separate snacks for these times.

The great thing is the flexibility and portability these bags give me , and of course the lack of nagging !

I hope you’ve found this helpful , if you’d like to read more tips on healthy eating for your little ones you may like to read How I Got My Kids To Love Eating Vegetables.

Or if you need some motivation for simplifying your kids toys then you may like The Simple Guide Stop Toy Clutter.

I have many healthy recipes and organising ideas on my  Pinterest page, you could also join our friendly Facebook group for daily tips and answers to any organising and cleaning questions you might have .

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Snack box
Why my kids are in charge of their own snacks.
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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

How to organise your kitchen
How to organise your kitchen

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional.

Have you always wondered how  the professionals keep their kitchens organised and running smoothly ? Here are some tips that will help you find the sweet spot in your kitchen!

 

Kitchen Organisation.

Utensils.

I have an incredibly tiny kitchen , there is barely any room to swing a mouse let alone a cat!  Cupboard space is very limited with 4 cupboards and 3 drawers, and one tiny counter top .

Coupled with the fact that I am a kitchen gadget fan , this can be quite taxing at times.

 

In my very tiny kitchen you will find :

  • A spiralizer
  • A popcorn maker
  • A slow cooker
  • A juicer
  • A blender
  • A toaster
  • A toastie maker
  • A actifry chip maker

All of which are used on a regular basis.

 

I have a kitchen drawer which holds 

  • 2 steak knives ,
  • a wooden spoon,
  • a pizza cutter,
  • a garlic press,
  • a multipurpose knife,
  •  8 knives , 8 forks, 8 spoons and 3 teaspoons, (the other 5 were thrown in the bin by my 5yr old each time he’d finished his yogurt !)

 

A hanging rack which holds

  • A sieve which my other half won’t discard even though we have a collinder .
  • Measuring spoons which double up as serving spoons
  • A knife sharpener (again my other half’s , I would love to throw this away)
  • Bottle opener.
  • Scissors
  • Fish slice
  • Potato peeler

 

I also own 

  • 4 pans
  • 1 oven tray
  • I casserole dish
  • 1 lasagne tray
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 muffin tray
  • I cake tin
  • Drinking bottles (stainless steel)
  • Cats dishes (stainless steel)
  • Glasses too many
  • 6 mugs
  • 8 plates, 8 side plates, 8 bowls
  • 2 sandwhich boxes for school
  • Copious amounts of cleaning products (my weakness)
  • I mixing bowl
  • I salad bowl
  • I collinder

Everything else is food .

I do admit to being a slight food hoarder and I’m still trying to work on that .

As I’m writing this list I’m itching to throw some of it away !

 

 

Why am I telling you what I own ?

Because even though I have quite a lot of gadgets and a limited storage, everything is neat and tidy and can be found easily. The kitchen counters are totally clutter free and only have the kettle on top , unless my other half has been using the kitchen!

As you go through my list of things you will notice that , I don’t have hundreds of things I don’t use, this is the key to staying organised. When I open my kitchen drawer I only have one knive to choose from , and I know exactly where it is , I don’t need to rummage through a drawer full of unused stuff to find my favourite knife .

How To Organise Your Kitchen.

After getting rid of:

  • Duplicates
  • Unused gadgets/ utensils /baking trays
  • Broken / items
  • Out of date food
  • Unused food (food bought on a whim which is very unlikely to be eaten)
  • Decorations / nic-nacs
  • Cookery books ( unless used frequently then  please store on the book case with other books )

Clean the area thoroughly.

  • Look at your space and decide what you need by each area for convenience. For instance pans near the cooker. Cups near the kettle and coffee.
  • Stuff used infrequently goes towards the back of the cupboards or up high .
  • I put plates  glasses and  cutlery near the dishwasher as these are washed more often than other items so it’s quicker to put them away .
  • Store washing powder next to the washing machine.
  • Keep everything off counter tops and windowsills.
  • Do not over stack shelves .
  • Decorative items are not for the kitchen they get greasy then dusty, save the decor for somewhere else if you must!

 

Kitchen organisation.

Food.

Food is something we need to keep on top of and one of my personal struggles . Things can quickly go out of date and can  be forgotten about at the back of the fridge and cupboards.

 

Cupboard stock . 

  • Don’t overstock , it’s easier to see what you need if you’ve not got loads of stuff in your cupboards .
  • Get rid of any food you don’t use on a regular basis .
  • Put lesser used food towards the back of the cupboards.
  • Make sure everything is sealed and labelled (preferably in Tupperware) after opening to prevent spillage .
  • Bring stock forward and  place new items behind old after shopping .
  • Wipe the bottom of jars after use before putting away.

 

Fridge Organisation.

  • Always shop the day after you have cleaned out your fridge, this makes it easier to use up leftovers and to unpack fresh food.
  • Use your juicer to use up fruit and vegetables, this can be frozen and added to stews , casseroles and pasta or curry sauces as you need it.
  • Keep a basket in the fridge for food specifically for packed lunches, such as yogurt tubes, fruit, cheese, spreads ( portioned in easy to grab bags for speed in the mornings.)
  • Use a chalkboard or wipe board to write down the  use by dates of fresh food going into the fridge, so when meal planning you can use shorter dated food first at the beginning of the week.

Kitchen rules!

  • No paperwork in the kitchen!  (unless you have a work station in the kitchen keep all paperwork out of there! )
  • Don’t stick things to the outside of the fridge!  Keeping the fridge clutter free makes it easier to clean.
  • Keep the surfaces clutter free at all times, its quick and easy to clear up immediately after every meal when the surfaces are clutter free, the added bonus is that your kitchen will always look immaculate if you follow this rule!
  • Empty the bin daily even if it’s not full, this prevents the less house proud members of the family stacking stuff on top or even next to a full bin ! It also prevents flies and nasty smells!
  • Deal with the dishes after every meal , snack or meal prep, Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink !

If you try to introduce a few of these steps at a time you should start to notice a difference almost immediately.

 

Recommended reading

How To Declutter When You’ve Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

How to Get Rid Of Your Junk Drawer In 1 Easy Step!  

For further reading on minimalism  check out http://www.theminimalists.com

Shop for related products!

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How to organise your kitchen
How to organise your kitchen

 

 

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Posted in parenting

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How to declutter When You Live With A Clutter Bug ! Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

 

 

 

How to get your partner to declutter

 

 

How do I declutter when my partner isn’t on board ?

How do I get my partner to declutter? 

What do I do when he tells me he likes me in everything I want to   throw away ? 

These are all questions I get asked on a regular basis .

It seems that a lot of us “declutterers” and organised people, live with people who will not throw anything away . And talking from experience there’s nothing more frustrating!

So what do we do when we live with someone who just won’t simplify?

Throw away their stuff and hope they don’t notice ?

Nag them consistently untill they comply?

Argue constantly about their clutter ? 

Of course none of these are the answer although I bet most of us have tried them in vain ! My favourite  decluttering and tidying guru Marie Kondo covers this very subject in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and  Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying

Her theory is that if we just concentrate on our own “stuff” we will soon realise that other people’s stuff is not the real problem .

So, I tried it and guess what ? It became totally apparent that his stuff was a tiny proportion of the clutter in our house .

Marie guides us through our clutter step by step working through every single possession we own in the following order:

  1.  Clothes,
  2.  Miscellaneous,
  3.  Paperwork
  4. Then, finally sentimental .

She tells us to pile everything on the bed and hold each item , if it brings you joy you keep it, if it doesn’t , you don’t it’s as simple as that .

how to declutter when your partner is not on board

I tried this method and became hooked very quickly

  • I discarded or donated approx 70 % of my stuff
  • I only kept approximately 30% of my original possessions .
  • Everything that made it into the 30% of keepers were things I loved and this in turn made me happy .
  • With that , came space , clarity, serenity and tidiness .
  • Everyone else  in the house  kept the  empty spaces tidy and stopped piling stuff up .
  • No one left anything lying around
  • People in the house including the kids seemed to  start to declutter their items without being asked to.
  • Toys only took a few minutes maximum to tidy up each evening before bed.
  • Cleaning the house was quicker and easier.

Getting your partner to declutter is simply not the way to tackle things at this stage, start on your stuff, move on to the kids stuff  and watch how the whole house seems to get tidier as people notice the empty spaces!

To my surprise I learnt that if I keep my stuff in order everyone else will too!

What do I do when he tells me to keep something I don’t wear because he likes it ?

This is a tricky one and one only you can decide but my rules for this would be to donate if

  1. It doesn’t fit
  2. It is uncomfortable in any way.
  3. It doesn’t make you feel a million dollars
  4. It is old,worn and generally grotty
  5. you don’t love it !

I would never tell my spouse what to wear and I wouldn’t expect him to tell me what to wear so its an easy one for me ! Luckily my other half doesn’t notice what goes in and out of my wardrobe so that helps !

 

If you’d like read more in depth about these decluttering methods you can read how to here.

Another method I love is  the  Flylady , I love this method because she breaks things down into 31 baby steps and I like bite sized pieces especially when someone is  also guiding  me when to do something!


                   Todays favourite products !

      1. Dettol Original Liquid Antiseptic Disinfectant I use this daily and it is definitely my go to product for keeping the house smelling fresh. Use it in the areas you have decluttered to really give yourself a fresh clean space ready to organise.
      2. Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner . I love this little machine as it is so easy to use , lightweight and portable with no cord !  It enables me to get into all the little nooks and crannies,  it also gives me approx. 40 minutes of cleaning time and doubles up as hand held for the car or the kid’s mess. I find it really powerful and it covers all my decluttering jobs with little effort.
      3. Dyson Groom Tool attachment for dogs . This is a fantastic product which attaches to most Dyson upright models and grooms your dog as the all hair gets sucked straight up the vacuum! Please note this is not compatible with the cordless Dyson Vacuum cleaner. Let’s keep that freshly decluttered floor free from pet hairs!
      4. Chilly Bottles Double Walled Reusable Bottle – 18hrs Hot & 24 Cold – 260ml) I wouldn’t be without this little fella, it’s  my favourite water bottle and I’ve got it in several colours. It keeps water icy cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 18  hours so it is a really versatile bottle which is a go to in any season. My kids love them . They are great for those of us who are trying to live a more conscious  lifestyle as they are stainless steel and save on waste , they are sturdy and will outlive most other plastic bottles. I have found them easy to carry in a bag as they are condensation free. That said , it’s my go to bottle for having at my side  to keep me hydrated as I go through my many jobs of the day !

 

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Posted in minimalist, parenting, simplicity parenting

Is It Finally Time To Unplug And Slow Our Kids Down?

how to get the kids to slow down.
Reading…

Think back to the lazy summers of our youth , what made it so different from our lives today?

 Apart from the obvious

  • bills to pay ,
  • rent to find ,
  • health issues,
  • financial worries
  •  work worries

We were free , free from the constant connection to something , there was nothing but us.

  • No social media,
  • no adverts telling us what we needed ,
  • no designer clothes ,
  • no mobile phones ,
  • no selfies,
  • no plastic surgery
  • no Botox
  • no self tanner
  • no Disneyland ,
  • no daytime television ,
  • no gaming
  • no cyber bullying
  • no junk food ,
  • no noisy battery filled toys ,
  • no homework ,
  • no after school clubs ,
  • no image awareness
  • no designer clothes
  • no competition.
  • No pressure .

We had no “stuff” to worry about , obsess over , and winge for.

It’s the first week of the holidays and my diary is already bulging with party invitations and events , even though I have culled a few activities  before the school holidays .

Here’s how I try to slow our lives down a little.

  1. I try to focus my kids time on things which they love doing , I try to choose quality over quantity when it comes to after school activities , this frees up more time during their week for parties or play dates and to still allows my kids plenty free time just to relax and recharge at home.
  2. I  try to be more present by switching off the internet on my phone for the full day and  I try to leave my phone at home or in the car when I’m out with the kids enabling me to be  more focused on the present moment , and to be honest it feels quite liberating . I also put my phone away in a drawer and try to only check it twice a day when I’m at home to avoid the temptation  to get drawn into social media or emails.
  3. Getting out into the fresh air is vital in our house as it helps us connect with each other and connect with nature. It calms the kids (and me) by getting rid of excess energy and creates memories. But best of all it doesn’t cost anything!
  4. Like all parents I try to limit time my kids spend on the TV and tablets, I have realised that the more time my kids spend on electronics the more manic their behaviour is, especially towards each other. We have  a “no TV ” rule in our house until 5pm , the kids know this and accept that it is not “TV time” so don’t constantly mither for it. They also know that if they play nicely together during the day I will bring TV time forward by a few hours. This saves a huge amount of fighting and sibling squabbles in our house and TV time is a cosy time of togetherness in our house, whilst the day times are spent playing and burning off energy.
  5. Tablets are mainly used  for travel and situations where one child has to wait for another such as swimming , karate, rugby etc . One of my children is completely not bothered by the iPad but my 5-year-old is obsessed with it so its important for me to monitor his use rather than let it get out of control.
  6. Evenings are when I like to cosy down  with blankets and candles, for chats and cuddles and our favourite programs .
  7. It’s the simple things we remember as we get old , not the money we had spent on us or clothes we wore, it was the warmth of our parents hugs and the taste of a home cooked meal, or a chippy tea in front of coronation street.

We may not be able to fix all the distractions of our full to bursting lives , but we can go some way to simplify small simple things for ourselves and our kids . We can stop making our kids so busy , stay in the present , stop filling up the “free” time and just slow down .

We might not be able to stop our kids screaming at each other and having major meltdowns but we can make it easier for them by not over stimulating them.

If our kids are lives constantly over burdened then so are ours.

We can try to create slow, empty time which helps to create pockets of calm in an otherwise crazy day.

 

 

For more reading on simplifying parenting you may like

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How to achieve your summer minimal wardrobe. 

Summer capsule wardrobe inspiration
Summer is here , hooray !

So now is a great time to dig out the summer clothes and organise a nice little summer capsule wardrobe !
Decluttering

 

  • Step 1. Empty your wardrobe of anything you know you will not wear untill next winter We will be heading towards making a wardrobe which is both winter and summer compatible but I shall be doing a seperate post on that at a later date . So for now empty everything on your bed . Now is a good time to assess what hasn’t been worn , what was uncomfortable , what didn’t make you feel a million dollars , or anything you don’t love . If it fits any of those catagories donate immediately !
  • Step 2 . Wash but don’t iron as you’ll end up doing it again next winter ! Make sure to put it all away in storage.
  • Step 3. Get out all summer clothes . Go though each item . Do you love it ? Does it fit ? Does it make you feel fabulous? If not donate it !

 

 

If you’re struggling with letting go  of any items you may like to read this post

  1. How I Started Living With Less.
  2. How To Declutter When You’ve Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

 

  • Step 4 wash and put everything back in your wardrobe .

You should now have heaps of space to view your minimal wardrobe and should be able to create many more outfits with the clothes you have kept .

  • Step 5 repeat steps 1-3 with coats , boots and shoes !
  • Step 6 . Assess the gaps in your wardrobe, decide the key items which would complete your outfits . Write them down and keep in your purse so you buy things you need rather than impulse bargains next time you shop
  • Step 7 decide on 3 basic colours to have  as your base colours and add one splash of colour .

My basic colours  are:

Charcoal grey

Navy

Black

And my splash of colour is bright red.

Only shop within your chosen four colours !

 

Now  you can enjoy shopping for outfits in your very own newly decluttered and streamlined wardrobe !

 

 

My recommended reading on the subject of minimal wardrobes are http://www.unfancy.com and http://www.theminimalists.com for amazing inspiration and advice on how to live with less items in your closet!

 

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Summer capsule wardrobe
Summer capsule wardrobe

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How To Declutter When You’ve Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

how to declutter when you have no motivation

 

The question I’m asked most of the time is :

“How do I motivate myself to start simplifying? “

It’s such a simple question but one that is holding back thousands of people in their journey to a clutter free life !

When you are at a loss to  begin decluttering it can be completely over whelming to look at how much you have to deal with .

So lets break the question down into two simple parts

How Do I Motivate Myself?

  1.  You are motivated , you are ready, the only  thing which is stopping you is not your motivation it is knowing where to start . This is where we come in !

 

How do I start decluttering?

 

  1. Set yourself an absolutely tiny goal, one which is achievable in a few minutes, for instance , one small drawer which you struggle to shut, or one piece of floor which is so cluttered you keep falling over stuff.
  2. Choose something which is irritating you or is making your life difficult so you feel the benefit once it is done.
  3. Choose a time when you will not be distracted by people, work or social media.
  4. Listen to a podcast or audiobook  click the link for a FREE 30 day trail Audible Free Trial .
  5. Set a timer for 10 minutes , 15 minutes or 30 minutes depending on how much time you feel can give without getting frustrated.
  6. Start when the timer starts and stop when the timer stops!
  7. Throw away all the rubbish you’ve collected into the bin immediately.
  8. Pack anything for the charity shop away and put it in the car boot (to drop off next time you pass) or outside ready for the charity collection (then ring to arrange collection they normally come the next day ).
  9. Clean the area you have decluttered !
  10. Put everything away!

 

 

What Happens If I Want To Carry On after the timer has finished ?

  1. My advice is to make sure the first area is complete before carrying on , so the steps from 1-10 are done in full before you move on to another goal .This may seem like its counter productive but you’ll probably find once you have completed your goal from beginning to end and put everything back afar cleaning you will at least need to rest before you begin again.
  2. Often we find that life seems to take over, we get interrupted, things take longer that we anticipated , we get side tracked.
  3. Our focus is to start in bite sized chunks which fit into our already very busy lives, this allows us to get into the habit of decluttering as we go and prevents us from getting overwhelmed and suffering burnout!
  4. Our aim is to get the decluttering bug and to look forward to the next time we grab the timer and go !

My guidelines for success

  1. In the area you are decluttering if there is anything you don’t use,
    don’t like, don’t need or don’t want , donate it .
  2. If there anything which just irritates you , for instance the candle you can’t bear the smell of, the unwanted gift, donate it !
  3. Throw away anything which is broken or anything which is just rubbish!
  4. Now enjoy the empty space you have created!

 

If you enjoyed reading this post you might like to follow some of my other hints and tips in

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My other recommended reads on how to declutter are:

    1. Flylady who in her book Sink Reflections splits everything into 31 baby steps,  zones and daily missions.
    2. A slob comes clean who in her book How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind gives us a humorous down to earth slant on her disorganised life and shares her tips to get out of the clutter rut

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How to Spend Less Money!

How to save money
A penny saved is a penny earned!

 

How can we spend less money ?

Whilst sitting in the doctors waiting room yesterday I picked up a glossy magazine  and the headlines screamed out

  • “The must have hand bag! “
  • “Why I can’t live without velvet! “
  • “Life changing eyeshadow pallet!”
This got me thinking , why is it a “must have handbag ?”

So let’s break it down ,  it’s  literally just a handbag that someone has decided you must have!

  • If you want a handbag  choose one that you like, not because someone in a marketing office has told you it’s a must have .
  • You have your own style and don’t need a “must have” hand bag to validate that .
  • The “why I can’t live without velvet” … person  has a serious issue, I urge them to try to live without velvet , I’m pretty sure that they’ll  survive!
  • As for the “life changing eyeshadow pallet ” in my opinion , becoming a parent, losing your job, moving abroad are “life changing ” events an eyeshadow pallet is not life changing in most cases!
  •  The headline which really caught my attention for all the wrong reasons was
    “the lipstick to make you beautiful” , as if any one product could make anyone person beautiful .

I agree with Audrey Hepburn who said that “the most beautiful thing anyone can put on their face is a smile “.

Gratitude , kindness empathy and humility make a person beautiful , these are qualities which shine from within , these are the lessons we should be teaching our children .

So  does this make  us rich ?

What to do right now to see your money grow!
  • Stop falling for the constant consumerism  mumbo jumbo that advertisers are constantly bombarding us with, read between the lines!
  • Bear in mind we don’t  need anything other than the basics to keep us alive!
  • Stop buying “stuff” which will end up in the charity shop in six months time .
  • Start instead to save your  money.
  • Start a small emergency fund to cover any repairs or breakages.
  • Pay off your debts.
  • Never spend more than you earn.
  • Get rid of the credit cards.
  • Follow the principle that  ” a penny saved is a penny earned”

 

Try this for a month and you’ll be surprised exactly how different things can be by wanting less. After a short time you will have more financial freedom to  do the things you really love and  to create memories.

 

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What I’m reading !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hoe to get richer in 9 simple steps

hoe to get richer in 9 simple steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Organising, parenting

How I Got My Kids To Love Eating Vegetables.

how to get your kids to love eating vegetablesHow I got my four year old to love eating vegetables.

My 4 year old  son is naturally a fussy eater, he does the usual trick of pretending to vomit at any given opportunity when salad or vegetables are served on his plate . If it’s green he refuses point blank to go near it .
This revelation came as a huge shock to me because I was one of those (smuggety smug) parents who already had a six year old who would eat absolutely anything .
So of course I had to be clever with this little fuss pot , using the age old tricks to get some veg into him:

  • Green smoothies at breakfast . A hand full of spinach , a banana , and a handful of berries blended together with a handful of ice and some Almond Milk
    or coconut water  Coconut Water, these are always wolfed down in our house, the kids think they are a milkshake. Sometimes if my kids have been super busy with school and activities or are feeling low in energy ager being poorly  I add a scoop of  Bioglan SmartKids Superfood Shake for an extra boost.
  • Blended  or juiced vegetables in sauces, these can be anything from courgette, carrot, beetroot, celery or anything else you have in the fridge , these can be blended in your Vitamix Blender or any other blender you have .
  • Home made soups , made from fresh cooked  vegetables and stock then  blended and  sprinkled with parmesan cheese for a delicious comforting dish.
  • Fresh juices made from a mixture of vegetables such as carrots , beetroot celery and fruit to give it the sweetness, my kids love apples and oranges added to their juice , I prefer the tartness of grapefruit in mine. this is also a great way to use up fruit and vegetables and if you use a slow press juicer such as Retro Cold Press Masticating Juicer  you can keep the fresh juice in the fridge for longer , although it doesn’t last long in our house !

All of this effort  of course , ensured that my son had enough veg in his diet but it didn’t make him “love ” vegetables.
I wanted him not to shy away from veg , I wanted him to grow into an adult who naturally wants to choose to eat vegetables.
Then I came across a book called  French Children Don’t Throw Food

Which gave me a huge insight into why kids in France eat the same as  their parents eat at every meal and in restaurants, including vegetables without any fuss at all.

 

So, how do French people get their kids to love vegetables, what is their secret?

Well one thing they do is serve a platter full of raw veg sliced as a ” starter ” before every meal .

This idea made complete sense to me because:

  1. Before dinner my kids are
  2. At their hungriest
  3. At their most relaxed
  4. Not particularly paying attention to what they’re eating especially if the tv is on.
  5. Likely to wrestle the other child to the floor for no reason what so ever !
    All perfect conditions to sneak some veg into them without them really noticing!

So,  in conclusion this would mean that they would:

  1. Be less fussy with what they are eating!
  2. Not be psyched up and prepared for a dinner table battle ( catch them off guard !)
  3. Not paying attention to what they are eating!
  4. Willing to fight each other over the last carrot !
    It was a light bulb moment for me !

So now the test !

What did I do ?

I decided that the first day would be all about coaxing them over to the plate

  • So, I  mostly sliced fruit which I know they love, with just some bell peppers sliced in between .
  • I left the plate on a table next to the TV and walked away ,no nagging, no coaxing , no acknowledgement of the plate of food , I just dumped it and ran !
    They dived in , wrestled each other for the last piece and then asked for more !

 

 

  • The second day I reduced the fruit by half and added different vegetables including olives which my kids love .

 

  • On the third day it was all veg they had eaten on the first 2 days
    After that I added one new vegetable a day .

                 Each day they cleared the plate , no matter what I put on it !

How did it affect mealtimes ?

Dinner time became much more relaxed because I knew they’d already eaten a ton of veg as a starter in front of the TV so there was no pressure to eat it at dinner time , we were all more relaxed and it didn’t matter too much if they left food at dinner time because they’d already eaten the good stuff!
So now my 4 year old is choosing to eat lots of veggies for himself with no input from me at all and the dinnertime battles have ended!

 

 


This post  contains  amazon affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something from that affiliate link, I will get a commission. I only recommend products I  love and would use myself.

 

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