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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dreambaby home safety products review + giveaway

When bub started crawling safety proofing the house was in the forefront of my mind. Now that she's 2.5 it would be easy to get lax about a lot of things given she's older and understands a lot more. However, the fact that she's curious and can reach a lot more things means safety proofing needs to be just as paramount, if not moreso than before because she can get into so many more things. Even though daddy thinks she has a great deal of common-sense, I think he forgets that {like most toddlers} she also finds doors and power points fascinating and fun to play with. Thankfully I'm around making sure everything is toddler proofed. I've recently added a number of new Dreambaby® safety products to different rooms of the house to ensure everything remains safe.

Ezi Fit Door Knob Covers {3 pack $7.95}

One thing we haven't had an issue with so far is doors. She figured out how to open lever handled doors a while ago, but thankfully we have round door knobs in the house so she hasn't been able to open them. That's not for lack of trying though. Each morning she stands on tippy toes trying to open my door. She seems to be growing taller each week so soon we'll have a little escape artist on our hands. In a bid to nip it in the bud before it starts {or at least prolong the time it takes her to figure out how to open them properly} I've put the Dreambaby® ezi fit door knob covers on the most used doors in the house {aka the ones I don't want her to get in/out of}. At the moment that's the front door, her bedroom and I put one on the toilet door hoping I might actually be able to go to the toilet in peace without a helper.

The door knob covers are really easy to put on, they literally just click over the handle. The door can still be opened by adults by gripping the handle through the two side holes in the cover and turning, however when bub tries to open it she just spins the cover around. Win! There's also a hole in the end so lockable doors can still be unlocked and locked.

Outlet Plugs {24 pack $4.95}

We've been fortunate enough that electrical sockets haven't really been an issue either because most of our furniture downstairs covers the sockets so she can't get to them. The upstairs ones are a lot more exposed though and now that she can climb furniture they're becoming more of a problem. Add to that natural toddler curiosity to play with switches and its only a matter of time before she starts trying to switch them on and off. 

I've just gone around all of the exposed electrical sockets in the house and installed Dreambaby® plastic outlet plugs. Now I know she won't be able to get shocked if she somehow turns them on and more importantly it also stops her from sticking things into the sockets. The plugs are easy to click in place and can be pulled out again by pushing down and out on the indented top of the plug. They're quite difficult to remove {I needed T to pull them off for me} so I'm confident she won't be able to get them off.

Sliding Locks With Catch {2 pack $9.95}

One of the first areas I baby proofed when bub started moving was the kitchen cabinets. We've also added a really long baby gate across the entry way so that most of the time she doesn't have access anyway, but the cupboard locks still come in handy. There are times she demands to be in there with me and also times when daddy forgets to latch the gate so she wanders in there. Having locks on the cabinets with chemicals in them is essential {and having a lock on the pantry is proving quite handy too just quietly}.

Having long vertical handles on all our kitchen cabinets, sliding locks were our first choice as they're the easiest to install and use. We originally had other Dreambaby® sliding locks before being sent the new Dreambaby® sliding locks with the added catch. The catch helps to hold the lock in place even better than our old ones and they're just as easy to use.

Safety Catches {6 pack $5.45}

For other cabinets where the sliding locks won't work the Dreambaby® safety catches can be used. They can also be used on top drawers. The safety catches screw into the top of the cabinet {or drawer} and allow it to open only a small amount preventing kids from getting into the contents. The latches are easily unlocked by pushing down on them and automatically re-lock each time the cabinet or drawer is closed.

I personally prefer the sliding locks because they're a lot easier to install and are fully portable, but the safety catches do provide a good alternative for cabinets where the sliding locks aren't suitable.

Cord Clamp {$5.95}

I've always been quite paranoid about extension cords, however thanks to the power point placement in our house there are a few places we need to use them because we have no other choice. Whenever T wants to do work out in the backyard he has to use an extension cord from inside as we have no external power points, which isn't ideal given we now have a toddler running around outside with him most of the time.

To try and minimise the risk we now use a Dreambaby® cord clamp which covers the plugs where both cords join together. The cord clamp securely clips over both cords and holds the sockets firmly in place under two layers of plastic. There's no way bub can undo the clamp and get to the plugs to undo them which gives me much better peace of mind. The clamp is also weather proof so perfect for outdoor use {which is where we mainly use it}.

Dreambaby® products can be purchased online or at Big W, Target, Kmart, Bunnings, Baby Bunting, Toys R Us and a number of other baby stores and chemists. Become a Dreambaby® fan on Facebook and on Instagram to remain up to date with all new product launches. Check out DreambabyTV on You Tube

Dreambaby® Safety Product Giveaway

Thanks to the team at Dreambaby® I have one of each of the products mentioned above to give away to one lucky Finding Myself Young reader. To enter simply leave me a comment below letting me know which safety item you need the most and why?

Please remember to also fill out the rafflecopter widget below {so I can contact you if you win}. The easiest way to comment is to choose the name/url option and leave the url section blank. If you're having issues leaving a comment, message me on my Facebook page or email me and I'll help you out.

Good Luck!

Toni x
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition commences 12:00am January 26th 2016 and ends 12:00am February 9th 2016. Entry is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. One reader will win outlet plugs, a cord clamp, ezi fit door knob covers, safety catches & sliding locks  from Dreambaby®. Prize is not transferable. Prize will be delivered by Dreambaby®, Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for prize delivery. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All mandatory entry steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and excluded from judging. Winner will have 72hrs to respond or prize will be redrawn. This competition is in no way endorsed, promoted or administered by Facebook.

Disclosure - I was gifted the safety products mentioned above for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own based on my experience with the products as per my disclosure policy. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kids or partner - who do you put first?

Before we had bub T and I were all about each other, as most young couples are. I spent hours at work counting down the time until I could see him again. We spent most of our nights together and the odd ones we spent at our own places we would talk for hours on the phone. Its safe to say we were pretty much obsessed with each other in the early days {in a healthy non-stalkerish kind of way}. For two and a half years we continued in our little loved up bubble of holidays, sleep-ins and lazy beach days. Then we had a baby and our whole world changed {as it should}.

Suddenly we were thrust into the world of nappies, night feeds and responsibility. Overwhelming responsibility. We had a tiny little human and we had to keep her alive. All thoughts of love and romance {and sleep-ins and lazy days at the beach} were pushed aside for much more responsible things like remembering how long it had been between feeds and trying to work out why she was crying for the 456th time that day. From the moment she came into this world she became our number one priority and that's never changed.

Our relationship shifted once she entered the equation. We evolved into a family of 3 and instead of just loving each other there's now another person in our lives. T's told me to my face that he loves her more than me. For some women being told your partner loves someone else more than you would be irrational, unacceptable and a deal breaker; but for me its not. Because I love her more than I love him too.

Admittedly, thanks to a drug fuelled emergency birth, I never had the love-at-first-sight-omg-my-heart-is-going-to-burst moment when she was born, but we developed an immense bond over the following days and it just keeps growing as she does. My love for her is entirely different to my love for T. She took a piece of my heart when she was born and she will always have that, no matter what happens in our future. My love for her is stronger because she is literally a part of me. He could never trump that {just like I could never trump his love for his daughter}.

Our love for each other hasn't diminished. It may not be as romantic or spontaneous as it once was, but its certainly still there. We're just as in love as we were in the beginning and I don't foresee that ever changing. However, our love for her, both individually and combined, far surpasses our love for each other. She will always be the most important part of our life together.

Toni x

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

When you have nothing to say

I'm sitting here with some rare free time as bub's actually having an afternoon sleep today hurrah {thank-you mothers group}... but the problem is I have nothing to say. Its murphy's law really. All the times I have heaps to say I have no time to write it down and now I have the time I have nothing to say... Oh the irony.

The truth is I've been having a bit of a crisis of confidence lately. I took time off writing over the Christmas period and it seems my blogging mojo went on holidays too and refuses to come back to reality with me. The problem with having time off is I had ample time to over-think everything about blogging. Does anybody really care about anything I write? Are my blog posts useful? Is there any point to it all? Does anybody even read any of it?

I seem to have gotten myself into a funk of sorts and I can't really get out of it. I've been writing a little bit, but I still have that little voice in the back of my head questioning whether I should bother. You know when there's a mozzie buzzing around your ear and its annoying the hell out of you, but you can't catch it? The voice is like that. I can't seem to shake it, but its annoying enough that I can't ignore it either.

I'm getting really bogged down thinking my posts have to be really informative and useful for others. All the blogging info tells us to niche down and become experts in our field to be successful. Yet here I am little old me blogging about whatever floats my boat. I guess you could say I'm kind of in the parenting niche, but I'm most certainly not an expert. I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing most days and half the time my inner monologue is second guessing and criticising everything I do do, so why would anybody care about what I have to say? See what I mean that bloody mozzie just won't leave me alone.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is not being able to write. Not frustrating enough for me to get up and clean instead, but frustrating none the less. I have a tonne of things to say, but my words {read brain} are failing me right now. Which is kind of a problem when you're a blogger and writing is what you do.

So I thought I'd throw it over to you...

What do you love about my blog?

What do you want to see more of around here?

What makes you keep coming back to read my blog? 

Do you even care about anything I have to say here?

Toni x

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Waiting is hard

Now that I have a toddler instead of a baby, parenting has taken a shift. We're now navigating the world of emotions, and how to handle them, every day. Every. Single. Day. Boy is that fun. Tiny people have big emotions and they need help understanding them. It's my job to {try to} explain these things to her so they make sense. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don't. It's a continuous learning experience.

Her biggest source of frustration at the moment is having to wait. I remind her all the time {often multiple times a day} that sometimes we have to wait. Waiting is hard, but if you're patient then you'll get what you want.

Waiting is hard.

I'm constantly handing out little life lessons in a bid to explain this to her. Being a toddler is hard. There's lots of tears, stomping, sour faces and the ever present "NO!". Toddlers don't want to wait. It's an inevitable part of life though and she needs to learn that. We don't have to be ok with waiting, but we have to learn to accept it.

Most of the time in this parenting gig I have no idea what I'm doing. I think for the most part everyone just wings it {right?}. Thanks to our infertility journey though I know a lot about waiting. I've spent many years waiting for something I wanted {4yrs waiting for bub and almost a year already this time}. Waiting can be bloody hard. I have to admit there have been many times during those 5 years where I haven't handled waiting as well as I should. There have been the odd emotional outbursts {fits of anger, breakdowns, uncontrollable sobbing and lashing out} and sometimes I might resemble a 2yr old. Thankfully though those moments have been behind closed doors and not in the middle of the shopping centre like my actual 2yr old. Just like a toddler having a tantrum, I've had to work through my emotions and accept them.

Infertility is an unpredictable roller-coaster full of ups and downs. The journey is peppered with hope and despair and an unbelievably long {seemingly never-ending} period of waiting. Lately I've been struggling with waiting almost as much as bub.

Teaching a toddler new skills can be enlightening though because it makes you stop and assess your own actions. Sometimes we need to listen to our own advice.

Waiting is hard, and sometimes being an adult is too, but I still have to believe that if I'm patient I will eventually get what I want.

What's the hardest thing you ever had to wait for?

Toni x

Monday, January 11, 2016

My goals for 2016

I'm not one for resolutions, never have been. I don't think you need to make life changing decisions or commitments just because a new year has started. If you really want to make a change then make it, regardless of the time. I also think resolutions have a tendency to be over the top and in essence set people up for failure and aint nobody got time for that! 

Truth be told my head has been all over the place lately, thanks to our second fertility journey we've been on for the last few months, and its really knocked me around emotionally. Because of that I just haven't had the mental space to keep up with things, and to be honest I don't really see that changing any time soon... so instead of beating myself up about it I'm giving myself permission to let things go this year and simplify everything. I've set myself some smaller, realistic goals to work towards {but it doesn't matter if I don't stick to them}. This year is about being kinder to myself and realising I can't do all the things and I don't have to do all the things

If I was to pick a word to describe what I envisage for 2016, it would be balance. This year is all about finding balance in every facet of my life and I plan on doing that by:

Blogging only when I want to.
Last year I was pretty vigilant at sticking to a 4 day a week blogging schedule. It was fun and I loved having a schedule in place, but it also ended up being exhausting. The problem is my schedule didn't take into account the fact that I have a 2yr old and that she wants my attention every 5 minutes. Aaaand then she decided to give up day naps + she doesn't go to sleep until 9-10pm most nights. Staying up until midnight trying to get blog posts done very quickly went from being fun to being really annoying not fun. 

So this year I'm taking the pressure off and blogging when I want to. It'll still be every week and some weeks it might even be 4 times a week still, but only when I can fit it in. I've also taken my 52 weeks of memories photography challenge away from the blog and set it up via email and facebook. 

Spending more time playing with my daughter.
Keeping up with my blogging schedule last year meant I was trying to write while bub was awake {you can guess how well that went by my first point}. On the days I was trying to meet blogging deadlines I saw her asking me to play with her or help her with things as an interruption and inconvenience. That's not the way it should be. I spent my life wanting to be a stay at home mum to spend time with my kids, not put other things first.

It's a huge dilemma because on the one hand I want to do more writing to make money {because staying at home makes me poor}, but I also don't want to miss out on the precious moments with her. I hated the fact that both my parents worked and I never saw them so I want to be here for her. I want to play with her, have fun with her, teach her new things and go on adventures with her. One day she won't want to play with me any more so I want to do it as much as possible while we still can.

Doing more things as a family.
In the past shift work has really screwed up family time. Thanks to a mixture of day shifts, night shifts, rotating rosters and overtime T spent a lot of his time off sleeping and it's been hard to fit in quality family time. At the moment he's been temporarily put on continuous day shifts so it means more useful time together as a family. I want to make the most of it by going on adventures and day trips more often. Spending time at the beach, at the park, watching movies, swimming etc.

Being more active.
Notice I didn't say diet or exercise, because those words are evil and make me want to go hide in a corner and eat all the chocolate! Instant fail. Instead both T and I want to try and be more active {without joining a gym or going too crazy}. I'm still carrying around some baby weight, although I don't think I can call it that 2.5yrs later, and he's put on some weight too. It's got to the point where we can't just brush it off anymore so we're going to do something about it. We started yesterday by going to the pool and we plan on keeping that up and maybe adding in some other things. Dare I say I may even like to do a park run one day, but that's a long way off. I'm happy with swimming and chasing after a 2yr old for now.

Having another baby.
So this is a goal I wanted to achieve in 2015 and didn't so I'm carrying it over to this year. Unfortunately due to some health issues we have to wait another few months before we can continue trying so the ship may have already sailed for having a 2016 baby. We could maybe just scrape one in around Christmas time, but at this point I'd be happy to just get pregnant at some point during the year. And yes I know getting pregnant would counteract the losing baby weight and would completely throw off my desire for balance, but I'm willing to deal with that.

What are your goals for 2016?

Toni x

P.s - I still finished writing this post at 11:14pm, but it was because I spent all day enjoying time with my daughter.

Linking with Kirsty and Alicia
Friday, January 8, 2016

Protecting Your Family’s Future - Wills and Life Insurance

Since we've had bub I've often thought about the 'what if's' should anything happen to me or T. Its always been in the back of my mind, but I've never really done anything about it because its always sat in the too hard basket. Now that we're on the road to adding to our family again, we really need to get it all organised. I have to admit I didn't really know where to start {and I know a lot of you are probably in the same position} so I asked Life Insurance Comparison to guest post explaining how to protect your family with a will and life insurance.

No one wants to think about the prospect of dying but if you have a family, you’ll need to consider what your dependants would do financially in your absence. Life insurance can be an invaluable investment in your family’s financial future but you should also look at having a will to make sure that your hard earned assets are allocated as you wish. Here’s what you need to know about safeguarding your family’s future if the worst happens.

Why You Need a Will

A will is a document that outlines what will happen to property and assets after a person’s death. It may also detail plans for funeral arrangements and who will look after dependent children. Having a will ensures that your assets will be allocated as you want whereas this is not guaranteed to be the case if you die without having had a will drawn up.

To access your assets without a will being in place, your next of kin would have to apply to the Supreme Court for Letters of Administration. In this scenario, your assets are likely to be distributed to certain family members but these may not be the ones that you would choose and the breakdown may not be as you had intended.

Wills are usually put together by a solicitor. Preparing your own will could mean that it’s not actually legally valid and could be treated as if you don’t have one at all.

Keeping Your Will Up to Date

Many people never update their will, which is fine if your original circumstances are not affected by changes in your life. Events such as marriages, divorces, new children coming into the family and acquiring new assets can all mean that the contents of the original will are no longer relevant. If this is the case for you, you should look at revising your will to make sure that your assets go to the people that you intend.

You can’t just “update” an existing will with new clauses, instead, you’ll need to have a new document put together and signed. This may incur a fee, which can vary from state to state.

Covering Funeral Costs

You’ll also need to think about how the costs of your funeral will be covered by your family, if the worst were to happen. Even a simple cremation can cost upwards of $4000, while a relatively fancy burial can be in the region of $14 000. 

Your superannuation fund may offer some help for your dependants with regards to funeral costs. This will also provide some degree of life insurance to dependants, although this may be much less than your family would need to survive after your death - particularly if you don’t have any other form of life insurance.

You can also buy funeral insurance through various providers specifically for the purpose of paying for your send off.

Buying Life Insurance

Would your family be able to manage from a financial point-of-view if the main earner were to die or become seriously ill? Many families would struggle to cope in this situation and some even end up in significant debt to make ends meet. Fortunately, there is a way that you can protect yourself against this possibility.

Life insurance helps if you die and leave your family without an income. This is known as death insurance but many people don’t realise that you don’t have to die for your family to benefit from life insurance. There are also income protection, critical illness and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) products to provide an income if the policyholder cannot work due to illness or an accident, for example.

When it comes to determining how much life insurance your family will need, you’ll need to think about anything that you could fall back on such as savings, investments and your superannuation fund. Then think about how the amount of money that your family will realistically need to meet current and future outgoings without your income. The gap between the two figures is the minimum amount of life insurance that you should look to buy. As with insurance in general, you should review life insurance cover if your circumstances change to ensure that you still have enough protection.

There are several options for buying life insurance. You probably already have some degree of life insurance through your superannuation fund, and this can be a cheaper and more manageable way to “buy” life insurance if you can’t otherwise fit it into your budget. Premiums are deducted from your fund balance. The downside to life insurance through your super is the relatively low default cover, which can catch a lot of families out if the cover level isn’t increased from this. You may therefore find that this option doesn’t provide enough cover for your family’s needs. Many people therefore choose to supplement this with a life insurance policy to make sure that they have enough protection in place. If you choose to do this, it’s a good idea to compare life insurance policies to see how much cover you can get through different insurers and what their exclusions are.

Linking with Grace, Kaz & Sonia
Friday, January 1, 2016

52 Weeks of Memories: the 2016 prompts

Can you believe it's 2016 already?!

I can't believe I'm going to have a 3yr old this year!

Three, how the hell did that happen?

The good thing though, is that thanks to my photo challenge, I have a heap of photos to look back on from the last few years. 52 weeks of memories has made me mindful of capturing the every day, seemingly insignificant, moments that happen each week. It's resulted in some wonderful memories and a photographic catalogue of bub's growth and changes over the past two years. Sometimes the little moments really are the big ones in the long run.
So with memory making at the forefront of my mind again this year, I've put together a new list for 2016. There are some old favourites and a lot of new prompts to mix things up a bit and keep it all fresh. The first week starts next Monday the 4th of January {you can share any day during the week}. I'm looking forward to seeing all your happy places.

To play along:

1. Follow the weekly prompt for your photo - you can be as creative or literal as you like.
2. Share your photo - there are many ways you can do this:
  • via Instagram, simply use #fmy52weeksofmemories
  • on the Finding Myself Young Facebook wall
  • on your own Facebook, or
  • via the 52 Weeks of Memories Facebook group

This year I've added an email list so that you guys can get weekly prompt reminders and inspiration. I know its tough to stay focused for a whole year and things often get in the way, so its nice to have a friendly reminder. By joining the mailing list you'll also get access to the private Facebook group. To sign up simply fill in the form below. 

I can't wait to see all your wonderful photos throughout the year.

Toni x

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