Life * Parenting

How to Teach a Child to Use a Sewing Machine?

Children are extreme happiness to a family. A parent always wishes the best things for their child. Every parent involves their child to play with toys for their cognitive, physical, and mental development. Once they cross toddlerhood, parents should encourage their children to involve in useful activities for their day-to-day life.

Every activity is going to help a kid in social, physical, and mental development. They can introduce craft ideas, sewing methods, climbing, swinging, dancing, and music. During their special days like birthday, you can also get the best sewing machine for kids.

Why it is important to involve them in activities?

Introducing play toys, grade-based activities, skill-based activities, and we deem other fun craft activities as fundamental to a child’s well-being. Playing is one of the important ways in which a child learns and grows. Besides, It also enables one to know their self-worth for a kid. It strengthens their concentration power and is essential for a successful future in the school.

It also paves the way for a child to enhance their social interaction skills and to the beginnings of scientific thinking. Playing is specifically important for preschool kids. It is the basement or foundation of childhood development in terms of cognitive development, language skills, creativity, intellectual reasoning, and physical development.

How to Teach a Child to Use a Sewing Machine

Why skill-based activity is important?

Most of the children learn grade based activities, but some of them cannot learn skill-based activities. It is an important duty of every parent to impart skill-based activities for their kids. As it helps to identify their particular interest apart from studies. Children are unique, having peculiar skill-set and talent in their way. Those skills are also a significant benefit for your child’s career.

Skill-based activities

Some activities have more potential than others. Here, we have mentioned a few skills-oriented activities.

  • Craft activities
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Sewing activity

A child can learn the above skills easily and happily. These are also stress-free activities. It involves them to create their ideas in every field. It enhances their creative thinking. Sewing activity is one of the important skills to do. Here, let’s see why and how to learn to sew activity.

Why it is important to teach kids to sew?

Consider teaching them to sew if you want your child to have a hobby that gives a positive impact on their character, mental, and physical development. We used to teach various skills required for their day-to-day life. One skill that we miss is the ability to sew in these modern days.

A good deal of might says that cooking and washing are much more important skills, while sewing is also equally important. Sewing, knitting, and crocheting are as important as other life skills. These are skills that every child should learn. Sewing enables them to customize their clothing.

Many children who learned to sew at an early age, have even gone to make a career in the fashion industry out of it. Whether your child wants to design a dress for their dolls or make a beautiful gown for their birthday, teaching them to sew at their early stage will give them a life skill that they will use forever.

Benefits of learning

  • Helps to tune in finger dexterity and fine motor skills
  • Teaches patience
  • Aids in building their self-confidence
  • Can be a social outlet for kids as the go-to place for learning where they can meet and gather friends
  • Helps them to think a lot and enables to use their imagination and creativity

How to Teach a Child to Use a Sewing Machine

How to teach a child to sew?

Children of any age can learn sewing, which may get them on the path to eventually making complex designs. Sewing is a fun and creative endeavor for your kids. A very important point to keep in mind while teaching your child to sew is patience.

Especially if you are an accomplished sewer, allow your student or child to make mistakes and to learn from the mistakes. Nobody can master any field within a night, so it is not uncommon to make a mistake. But teach and impart them the proper techniques along the way.

Machine handling

Sewing machines can intimidate your child in the beginning stages. Use a sewing machine, definitely not a toy machine. It seems like a cool idea for children especially, but they usually come in inferior quality and easily break. Start any lesson with ‘Safety measures’.

Initially, allow the child to work on the pedal while you take control over the fabric. This gives them confidence, and also they learn the complete pedaling process. In the market, there are so many choices to choose the best sewing machines for kids.

Speed control

It is commonly tempting for a child to put the pedal to the metal and sew quickly. But this definitely will cause injury to hands and legs. It is difficult to control the speed over a fabric. Teach your child to sew slowly and carefully. Sewing slowly works great for hand sewing.


Allow your child to pick every aspect of the sewing assignments to undertake. This may oddly combine fabric and colors, but that’s alright. A kid enjoys the project if they feel they were a part of all the decisions.

Safety measures

  • Mark out the danger zone
  • Choose the best sewing machine for kids
  • Implement good needle handling practices daily
  • Teach them to use scissors carefully
  • Don’t leave the pins on the floor and store them immediately in a separate box


There is a popular proverb saying in the sewing world ‘measure twice, cut once’ and remember that it is for a good reason. Mistakes often happen, and that’s okay. Teaching children how to correct their mistakes is as important as teaching them how to sew. It is a great opportunity to learn through problem-solving and decide on the best course of action. It is an individual’s uniqueness and brilliant idea to design, explore, and play with materials. Explore and enjoy sewing!

Health * Life

Homemade Hair Mask for Hair Growth! Easy Guide For Newbie!

Grow Natural Long Hair With Homemade Hair Masks!

In the modern world men and women are working under harsh climate and weather changes. Due to the daily exposure of harmful UV sun rays on the scalp, it leads to different hair issues more often. Having shiny and long hair is a desire of every man and woman, but it can’t be fulfilled for everyone due to poor scalp health.

However, we are here assisting you with best hair mask for hair growth that would make surprising changes in your scalp health, leading to longer and healthier hair. If you are also keen to know about all the organic and homemade remedies for making an optimal hair mask on your own, then consider continuing reading the article until the end.

Why use a homemade hair mask?

In today’s marketplace, there are thousands of hair products that can be used for hair growth; however, all of these hair products are infused with a higher concentration of chemicals as we all are acknowledged with the fact that chemicals can be really harsh on the scalp and lead to several other hair issues. To get rid of this complication, it is better to use organic and natural products on your scalp for combating different scalp issues without much hassle.

The homemade hair mask is not the only beneficiary for your scalp but also for your pocket. By making a hair mask on your own, you can save your larger bucks very easily. In addition, organic products are easily available at home, whereas getting chemicals infused hair products can be e a huge task to deal with. These are easy to apply a hair mask that can help you to see wonderful results within minimal time only.

Henceforth, it is a better step for you to get started with homemade hair mask for hair growth to get the desired length of hair.

Homemade Hair Mask for Hair Growth

Best homemade hair mask for hair growth!

Well, above, we have listed why it is better to use for homemade hair mask instead of approaching market hair products that can lead to several issues. We are enlisting best DIY hair masks.

Gram flour and curd hair mask

Gram flour can not only help you to get rid of your hunger but can also provide better-nourished hair. You have to take 5 tbsp of gram flour and curd along with 2 tbsp of olive oil and mix it well together. Once done, then apply the mixture on your hair for two minutes so that it can set into your hair thoroughly. After twenty minutes, wash it off with a mild cleanser. Additionally, consider using an appropriate conditioner as well. Gram flour helps in strengthening your hair whereas curd and olive oil with help with moisturizing and keeping your hair shinier. It is more suitable for dry hair. People with excessively damaged hair should be using this hair mask very often.

Egg white and almond powder

Another in the listing we have egg white and almond powder hair mask. You need gram flour, almond powder, and one or two egg white depending on your hair length. Mix two tbsp of gram flour, almond powder and egg white together well. Once done, apply the mixture on your scalp and wait for thirty minutes. These ingredients are really helpful for the nourishing scalp. It was appropriate for you to consider for this best hair mask so that it gets nourishing strands of your hair. You can practice these hair masks very often, and people with oily scalp must consider to practice it thrice or twice a week for better results.

Homemade Hair Mask for Hair Growth

Coconut milk and methi seeds

It is appropriate for you to use for natural ingredients such as metthi seeds that can provide you with natural-looking and healthier hair. All you have to do is mix one tbsp of seeds and gram flour together and add coconut milk in it. Once done with mixing, apply it over your scalp and massage. Let it sit for an hour into your roots after an hour washes your hair with a mild cleanser and gentle conditioner. It is a convincing hair mask that can be used twice or thrice into your hair for attaining better-looking hair. People with normal scalp should be more considerate about this.

Hence these are some of the easy to practice and highly effective homemade hair mask in a minimal time period. You can choose any of the hair masks from the listing which fits your scalp well and proves more effective.

Another practice that you can consider is to keep switching on hair mask and cleansers for your scalp health. By switching, you can provide your hair with all the essential nutrients that it requires for providing you longer and healthier hair.


Well here is a pro tip for you as you have taken deep insight of making homemade hair mask. It is a considerable choice for you to use a hair mask twice in a week for better and shinier hair. Additionally, another simple step that you can inculcate in your daily regime is to drink gallons and gallons of water for removing toxins from your body naturally that actually hinders hair growth and lead to dull and damaged hair.

The final verdict

From the details stated above, it is transparent that you should be better going for the homemade remedies instead of opting harmful chemical concentrated hair products. Using homemade remedies is not only helpful for hair growth but also very beneficial for your scalp health. People with sensitive scalp or skin often have to hassle with irritation and discomfort caused by the harsh chemicals; however, organic products and homemade remedies do not cause any such results.

Making use of natural ingredients on the scalp would provide better and effective results that are going to be permanent. You can be evidently considerate about different and best hair mask for hair growth enlisted above in the article for attaining longer hair.


Can You Take Iron Supplements While Pregnant?

The pregnant woman should take the iron supplements daily in her life so that it keeps her and her bay fit and healthy and also prevent any sort of weakness due to deficiency of the red blood cells. Following are some important tips that you must follow during pregnancy

Can You Take Iron Supplements While Pregnant

Know the amount of iron you should consume

Most of the women have the level of red blood cells in the total volume of blood which is also known as hematocrit level to be 30 during their pregnancy and the blood count and if the amount of hemoglobin in your body is basically 12mg/dL then it is a normal ratio with the total volume of blood. If during the third trimester, your body gets the amount of hemoglobin to be less than 10mg/dL causing you the anemia and to prevent this you must take the best iron supplements for pregnancy.

Read the supplements carefully before consumption

Before consumption of the iron supplements for pregnancy, you must carefully read the labels of the iron supplements. The label of the vitamin must show the list of the exact amount of iron in each supplement. Some of the elemental iron that can be listed by the vitamin labels are Ferrous gluconate Ferrous sulfate Ferrous fumarate which is equally effective to your body. And it is recommended to use the supplements which show the generic or brand name of the iron on the package as they are more beneficial. You must handle problem one by one:

Try alternatives but do not leave iron

If you are facing constipation during your pregnancy period, then it might be because of consuming the iron supplements for pregnancy more than required. You can still intake the iron along with the food that is rich in fiber so as it will solve your problems of constipation without leaving the iron supplements from your diet. You can eat the spinach, beans or even the whole – grain food for the fiber content but stay away from the tea, milk, coffee or any other dairy products.

It is possible to solve the problems of constipation

In place of totally depending on the foods that are rich in fiber, you can still opt for the stool softener for solving the problems related to constipation but it is advised to seek the doctor first for using this method. There are some of the iron supplements for pregnancy that are available in the market along with the stool softener. But still, the fiber intake is still the best option for solving the other digestive problems including constipation.

Pump the iron supplements properly

You must not throw away the pills that are the best iron supplements for pregnancy after your baby has been born as it will help you in regaining the blood that you have lost during giving birth to your baby. If during the delivery time, you have faced the loss of blood in an excessive amount then you still need to use the iron supplements to adjust with the loss and produce more blood in your body and to prevent the deficiency in the number of red blood cells.

Can You Take Iron Supplements While Pregnant

Types of iron supplements to intake

During the initial period, the symptoms of the iron-deficiency anemia are so mild that it is barely noticeable in a pregnant woman. So it is necessary to get regular check-up of your blood especially during the time of pregnancy as suggested by the ASH which is also known as the American Society of Haematology. You may feel the general fatigue, tiredness during your pregnancy if you are iron-deficiency anemic and this is all because of not consuming the best iron supplements for pregnancy in the right amount. Also, you may see your body getting pale skin and you may feel shortness in your breath and therefore causing dizziness or even the pregnant women start craving for eating chalks, clay or walls. Even the headache, brittle nails irregular beating of heats are some of the effects count into the symptoms of the iron-deficiency anemia.

What to eat if you are anemic

If the pregnant woman is found to be anemic then there is a different type of foods included in her diet which are rich in iron and also contains the important vitamins to keep herself and her baby stay fit and healthy. Such foods help them in increasing the production of the hemoglobin and also the red blood cells in their body and also helps your body in absorbing the iron easily. The anemic women must include leafy vegetables on top of their diets such as spinach, beans, and many more as they are rich in iron.

Symptoms if you are iron-deficiency anemic

It is necessary to get regular check-ups of your blood in the hospital especially during the time of pregnancy. You may feel the general fatigue, tiredness during your pregnancy if you are iron-deficiency anemic and this is all because of not consuming the best iron supplements for pregnancy in the right amount. Also, you may see your body getting pale skin and you may feel shortness in your breath and therefore causing dizziness or even the pregnant women start craving for eating chalks, clay or walls and have brittle nails and dizziness.


The best iron supplements for pregnancy are beneficial for producing more blood for herself and her soon to be born baby and thus the consumption of blood becomes double during the time of pregnancy. For the proper pumping of iron, it is necessary for the pregnant woman to take the iron supplements in enough amount as prescribed by the doctor and should not use more or less than that as it may cause other side effects. We highly hope this article made you know all about taking the iron supplements during pregnancy and what to do in extra.


Can Beard Trimmer Be Used for Body Hair?

OK so this is a question asked more frequently than you may believe. You’ve got a beard trimmer you love and works marvels for your facial hair.

You’ve been disregarding a pubic bush that’s been growing to worrying percentages down below.

Can Beard Trimmer Be Used for Body Hair?

Can you use a beard trimmer to cut your pubic hair?

Yes. You can use a beard trimmer for your pubic hair. There are specific qualities a beard trimmer need to have if it is to cut down pubic hair without any difficulty. Top quality blades, an effective motor, numerous size guards and preferably a security guard is needed.

A great program of day-to-day, weekly and regular monthly personal grooming practices where face and body hair are concerned must be embraced by males and females for a number of factors. Excellent personal grooming routines are vital in preserving excellent physical looks and, in repercussion, great levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. When you look, smell and feel great, you are most likely to bring in others, be it as a company, as a friend, or as an enthusiast.

Different the Tools

This is not simply a matter of being picky about your personal grooming practices however more significantly because best body groomer for men is created with a particular function in mind. Body electric shavers are created with special accessories that make it safe, quick and simple to shave hard-to-reach areas without the advantage of a mirror. A curved accessory can be used to shave the back, which is among the personal grooming routines that many men stop working to learn because of their unwillingness to request support from their sweethearts or better halves.

Most women would remove hair in the face, underarm, in addition to legs, men, on the other hand, choose to have their chest, back, shoulders along with legs and arms devoid of body hair. Whatever the technique for body hair removal for men, all of it come down to personal choice be it a momentary outcome or an irreversible one.

How is beard hair different to pubic hair?

Excellent news. Grow out your beard and you may see the hairs aren’t that different from pubic hairs.

The density of the shafts, the texture and circulation are quite comparable.

Can Beard Trimmer Be Used for Body Hair?

Dislike to enter into semantics however hi technically beard hair is pubic hair, as it establishes after adolescence therefore ought to really be considered pubic.

Hair is such an emotive topic and with human nature being human nature, what we want we can’t have and what we have we do not want! Curly hair and we want directly, straight hair and we want curly, brunette and we want blonde, blonde and we want red. Upper lip hair on a woman, so valued as an indication of splendid beauty in particular parts of the world, is damned by our Western society.

Undesirable hair is a typical issue impacting most women to differing degrees throughout their lives and triggering using numerous short-lived approaches of hair reduction or hair management systems. It triggers fantastic distress, and it is frequently accompanied by sensations of bad self-confidence, a sense of seclusion and low self worth.

Here is a detailed standard on hair removal for men


You need to identify what approach you want to go through. You require a razor and shaving cream if you want to shave. Depilatories or a hair removal cream if you choose a pain-free removal of hair in the body. You can also use a waxing package if you believe “no discomfort, no gain” is the ideal thing to do. All of these are simply for the diy package in the house. Other options can also be selected besides the already pointed out one. You can also have laser treatment and IPL however these 2 are talked about in another subject.


You can shave utilizing the razor when you wish to remove the undesirable hair on your body. It is best that you do this right after taking a bath. Even better, soak your body in warm water so that the coarse hair is softened throughout the procedure. This also lowers the opportunities of having ingrown hair in addition to skin inflammation due to the friction brought on by the razor rubbed against the skin. Shaving results just last for about a day or 2.

The 3rd action,

Once you have removed the hair on narrower areas of the body, you can carry on to remove hair from the chest or back or any broad part of the body. This can be quickly done through waxing. This can provide pain however the discomfort is bearable. Warm wax, already melted, is used to the area and after that it is covered with a strip of fabric. You need to permit the wax to dry before pulling the fabric, in addition to the hairs. Make sure that you yank it against the hair growth to decrease ingrown hair. Hair would not grow for a month or two. There are also diy packages you can buy in shops or you can have this done expertly in a beauty salon.

What else can be done

The next action can be optional. If you choose to remove body hair completely, you can go to a beauty clinic and go through electrolysis. Electrolysis works by administering a low-level electrical shock to the hair roots, eliminating the growth cells accountable for hair. The drawback of this type of treatment is that it needs an overall longer period of sessions, normally done weekly, in order that the whole area is dealt with correctly.

Another way to go is utilizing laser treatment, which has a comparable mode as electrolysis. The primary distinction is that rather of electrical shock, low energy beam is used. Small areas can be dealt with in one session, making the overall treatment longer. Laser treatment is best carried out on men with dark hair.


If you feel that you wish to use your beard trimmer for period body hair maintenance, then it is most likely practical to use particularly if you already own one and wish to conserve some money. If you will be doing body hair grooming everyday or have big areas that require attention you may wish to buy a gadget that is created particularly for that kind of job. A beard trimmer can conserve you money, however it needs to just be used if you do not have lots of grooming to be done.

Health * Life

Do Tightening Creams Work?

A Natural body firming cream will offer your body a good firm and healthy look everyday. Everybody desires that healthy radiance that can offer you a sensation of wellness and self-confidence. 

There are health threats that you must try to find when utilizing natural body firming creams such as; Parabens, Dyes, and Triethanolamine – these are hazardous and will trigger damage to the body.

Do Tightening Creams Work?

Many best body firming cream consist of a scent that may trigger an allergy. It is very important to always check out the components on the bottle before making your purchase at the shops.

Natural firming body creams will last a very long time when used correctly.

It is needed that you use the natural firming creams daily for tested lead to order to be looking great everyday.

Another crucial component in the natural body firming cream is “protein” which is important for the body. It offers the cream wetness for your body to get a healthy and strong look.

Recommended products for firming your skin are; Body washes are a wash that imitates a cream and provides your body a natural look rather of soaps. Natural body creams will safeguard your skin from sun damage and other outside toxic substances that can connect themselves to your body. It will offer your body a smoother look that you will love.

For the very best results, choose a natural body cream which contains Alpha or Beta hydroxy acids and use it a minimum of two times a week. This component assists grow the skin and it also minimizes any kind of infection. You can have healthy skin when utilizing the natural body firming cream.

Toning Solutions – Finding the Right Body Firming Cream.

In addition to lines and wrinkles, drooping skin is one of the indications of aging. These indications of aging can be brought on by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Free radicals in the body also damage skin cells. Skin will also begin to droop when the body experiences extreme weight reduction. Women who want a soft, smooth skin use body firming creams to obtain a more vibrant look.

Do Tightening Creams Work?

To preserve a firm and flexible skin, we just have to boost our body’s production of collagen and elastin. A few of the more efficient body firming creams consist of natural substances that promote production of these skin proteins in the body. With better output of collagen and elastin, the skin ends up being more flexible and glowing. Maximum skin wetness is brought back. Some firming creams even declare a 40% boost in skin firmness.

How does skin tightening cream work?

Hyaluronic acid takes place naturally in the body and minimizes lines and wrinkles. There are specialized firming creams that increase the quantity of hyaluronic acid in the skin. When this acid reaches a more regular level, the lines and wrinkles in your skin will slowly lessen.

Another reliable active ingredient in firming cream is Coenzyme Q10. It is a natural substance that permeates deep into the skin and reduces the effects of free radicals that can harm the skin.

Many body creams count on natural active ingredients to promote tissue regrowth which is important to accomplishing a more younger and firm skin. Practical keratin boosts the production of collagen and elastin. It is a protein drawn out from sheep’s wool and is shown to be really efficient in increasing the skin’s firmness by over 40%.

Use the cream on issue areas to neutralize drooping skin, lines and wrinkles. These areas consist of the face, neck, knees and abdominal areas. Arm, thighs and breasts can also be targeted. The cream is generally used two times a day– in the early morning and in the evening.

The most efficient firming creams consist of active ingredients that improve the production of collagen and elastin and ruin free radicals. These are the active ingredients you ought to search for in a body firming cream.

Natural Body Firming Cream – Make Certain You Are Utilizing the very best One.

Is there such a thing as a natural body firming cream? Women love to have creamy, soft however firm skin. Most of our efforts and focused on the face, which is the first thing people see when they meet you. A natural body firming cream can assist to provide you soft, creamy skin all over.

To attain the look and feel, of a best looking body and skin, you have to use a cream that consists of clinically shown components so effective it will firm up drooping skin and enhance the tone and texture of your skin all over your body.

Do Tightening Creams Work?

Body wash includes numerous extreme chemicals and soaps that will aggravate and dry your skin instead of firm it. The reason that natural body firming cream is much more reliable is that it is created to deeply permeate and hydrate your skin. When you use body wash, you just lather it on and wash it off moments after. Leaving body wash on for any longer than a couple of seconds would lead to your skin becoming dry and chapped.

The natural body firming cream I have been utilizing include a host of clinically evaluated and shown components that research has revealed will enhance your body’s production of collagen and elastin, which are 2 really crucial proteins that adds to skin’s firmness and flexibility offering you firm, tight and toned skin.

Optimal combination therapy effective

If you want healthier skin with an overall better look and feel, consider massage therapy! Massage has many benefits for the skin, increases blood circulation to the skin, which promotes skin regeneration. Not only will massage help skin bounce back after pregnancy or weight loss, but it can also help to heal your stretch marks. The combination of using lotion for massage during massage will help to firm the skin much more effectively.

Do Tightening Creams Work?
Massage helps increase skin firmness


Now that you understand why body firming cream is much better than firming body wash, keep in mind to look for cream with active ingredients like practical keratin, which helps in skin cell and collagen regrowth. Keep in mind to find creams that consist of natural and reliable moisturizers like olive oil, jojoba oil, and grapeseed oil. These natural oils will secure your skin and leave it feeling soft and creamy.

To attain this outcome you have to pay extra special attention to the active ingredients in any body firming cream you will be buying to use on your delicate skin.


Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m always looking for ways to sneak healthy fats and super foods into my kids lunchbox, so these healthy chocolate cupcakes are a school lunchbox winner with the addition of avocado and yoghurt and no refined white flour or refined white sugar! This is a bit of a pimped up version of my Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe which is in my book ’10 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy Food’ (you get it free when you sign up to my newsletter. What’s that…you haven’t signed up yet? DO IT! Click here to join now).

Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes

Rating: 5

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 120 grams butter, melted
  • 2 eggs (preferably Organic)
  • 1/2 a soft ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup sugar free Natural or Greek yogurt ((learn to make your own here|
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup spelt flour or flour of your choice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Line your cupcake trays or mini muffin trays with cupcake liners
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or by hand until well combined
  4. Pour into cupcake liners
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until they spring back when gently pushed on top
  6. Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container

Do you want more whole food recipes like this one? Join me in 12 Steps to a Healthy Family’ where I show you how to create over 100 whole food family friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.You also get a free digital copy of my E-Book ‘Sugar Free Baking for busy families’.  For just $89 you can start living the family life you dream of living!


10 Things I Learnt From Steve Biddulph

You’ve been waiting for it and here it is – 10 things I learnt from Steve Biddulph – The Secret of Happy Children!

The aim of The Happy Parent Project is to teach busy parents the strategies to being happy in amongst the chaos of parenthood. You can learn more about my programme 12 Steps to a Healthy Family here.

You can imagine my excitement then when I realized that best selling author, speaker and family educator Steve Biddulph (famously known for his best selling book Raising Boys) was coming to Geelong and running a show titled….The Secret of Happy Children! (Don’t be put off by his very un-fancy website – he’s so famous he doesn’t need to make it look cool!).

I jumped at the opportunity to see the man that helped me as a single Mum, raise my young son some 10 years ago, with his words of wisdom. I dragged my hubby along (yes, dragged would be the word of choice here – he did offer to stay home and babysit..!) and met up with my good friend who had also dragged her partner along. You know that you’re onto something good when a family counselor is able to have your tradie husband heartily laughing out loud when touching on a delicate and controversial subject such as discipline and smacking. Steve was hilarious, straight down the line, offered sound practical advice and really got us thinking about how we could do things differently. It gets 5 stars from me and from my reluctant husband.

Steve was kind enough to take the time to chat to me at the end of the night and has allowed me to publish my notes from the night. He has taken the time to review my notes to ensure they are 100% accurate, so on behalf of my followers Steve – thankyou!

That’s Steve asking me if I’d like him to edit my blog post for me, um….hell yes!

Steve on the night – a packed theatre of Mums and Dads!

Here’s the main points from the night that you may find useful.

Internal Guidance System: As parents we have an internal guidance system and we intrinsically know in our hearts what is right and wrong when it comes to parenting. But this system may have been damaged and its voice very quiet. A talk like this is aimed to help you listen more closely to your heart.
Independence: Our role as a parent is to make our children independent. It’s not to be their best friend or doing everything for them. Both our loving, and our firmness, equip them for life.
Boundaries: Children push the boundaries because they want you to show them where the boundaries are, and to help them learn to get along and be happy in a world that doesn’t revolve just around them.

Discipline: The age to start disciplining children is around 2 years of age. You can tell it’s time to start when they get this look on their face that you’ve sprung them doing something they shouldn’t. You know they should look sorry, but instead they look like they want to stick their tongue out at you! (I highly recommend going to Steve’s show just to see him do this demonstration – hilarious!) The reason you don’t start disciplining until 2 years of age is because this is when their visual cortex is developed enough to visualize your look of disapproval when they’re being naughty

What discipline means: What discipline really means is not punishment, but gentle teaching and talking through to help them live with not being always the centre of the Universe. You don’t have to be angry or mean to discipline, in fact it’s best to be relaxed.

Teenagers: Teenagers are almost at the point of independence when suddenly their neurological processes start to readjust themselves and they are taken right back to being dependent again. Steve says that to know the stage a teenager is at just deduct 12 from their age!

Love: There are 2 types of love required to raise happy children – soft love and firm love. You need a combination of both – you need to be warm but strong. This means that you need to be willing to have your child not like you sometimes for a few hours or a day or two if it’s for a good purpose but warm enough to be tender and patient. The reason we have to be tough and set boundaries is because our kids are going to need backbone and heart. Our kids lives are going to be tough and they have to learn that they have the strength to do it tough and still find happiness and enjoyment in life. It’s not all about getting their own way or being the centre of the Universe.
Slow down: Most of the problems with disciplining come back to the hurry that the adult is in. You know the kind – yelling at kids to get their shoes on because we’re late etc. Hurry is the enemy of love – we all need to slow it down.

1:1 time: If you want to increase the love between you and another member of your family you need to spend more 1:1 time with that person. Go away for a weekend or night together and connect.
Upset children: Often when problems arise with children, there is something else going on that has upset them. Always take the time to talk quietly with them – later that day or at bedtime, about how they are feeling. Upsets in children can be because of something they haven’t been able to tell you, or something they need help to figure out. You are their ally in figuring out life, and comforting them through its ups and downs, until one day they are strong enough and know how to do it without you.

Personal note from Steve: “When you are gone, they will carry you inside them forever. What a wonderful thing to leave behind”.

Steve has more shows coming up around the country which you can book here . I also highly recommend his books: (Please note that I receive a small referral fee from Amazon if you purchase the books via these links. I will alway disclose the products that I receive referral fees from and only recommend products that I 100% believe will support you in your quest to be a happy parent, and that I have tried and tested myself. The profit helps to keep this blog alive).


5 ‘Prepare The Night Before’ Breakfast Ideas For Busy Mums

So we’re heading into week 4 of the school term now, and if you’re a busy Mum you’ll  be starting to find your rhythm. But, if you’re anything like a lot of the Mums I know, you might also be starting to slip on the breakfast routine (not your kids – I know for sure you’ll be feeding them, it’s you I’m more worried about!) As we get busier we should look after ourselves first and foremost, but for some weird abstract reason of nature, we’re the first person that we stop looking after. All goes smoothly for a few weeks but then bit by bit we get worn down. We feel tired, moody, light headed, bloated and we can’t figure it all out – until we get stopped in our tracks by a ‘virus’ which is our body’s way of saying “Hey girl! You gotta look after me or I’m just gonna shut down on you!”. So before we get to that point busy Mama, I want you to start looking after yourself now!

The first thing I want you to do is always have a nourishing breakfast. If you’re really busy in the mornings (like you are , cause you’re a Mum!) then you must fuel yourself accordingly. Now you’re going to say “Oh Nicole, I know but I just can’t find time in the morning to have a nourishing breakfast” to which I shall reply “No worries, let’s prepare it the night before so that all you have to do is grab it and go”. Now I know you have time at night because evening TV is crappy so no excuses!

Here’s 5 of my favourite ‘prepare the night before’ breakfasts:
Chia Pudding
Simply grab a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds and mix with a cup of your favourite milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence. Mix together in a bowl and cover and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning top with some fresh fruits, a big tablespoon of homemade yoghurt and some crushed nuts/ seeds. Check out Sugar Free Baking for some of my favourite variations. 

Green Smoothie
I prefer to prepare my green smoothie fresh in the morning to get the most nutrients out of it, but you can get everything prepared the night before. Chop everything up and store in a jar in the fridge. Make sure your blender is out on the bench and then all you have to do is whack everything in and drink. It’s seriously a 2 minute job. Here’s my favourite green smoothie recipe:

Handful of  frozen berries
1 Tb flaxmeal (ground)
1 cup oatmilk
1 Tb Cacao
1/4 avocado
1 tsp green powder (Spirulina/Chlorella/ Wheatgrass/Barleygrass)
1 tsp maca powder

Grain Porridge
On a cold morning there’s nothing better than a warming bowl of porridge. These days I prefer to use a mixture of grains rather than just plain old oats. You can use whatever combination you like (or use a pre-mixed one like Red Mills 5 Grain Mix – in most health stores). Here’s my favourite combination:
Buckwheat groats
Chia Seeds
Just mix it all up the night before (except the flaxseed) and add you favourite milk. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. In the morning just heat it for a couple of minutes in a saucepan (or take to work and heat in the microwave) . To taste, you can add fruit (blueberries are great) and a little honey if you want it sweeter.
A firm favourite in our house! Granola is a toasted muesli – you make it with whatever grains, nuts, seeds that you have then add a sweetener like honey or maple syrup to make it crispy and golden when you bake it. Granola is an awesome thing to have on hand for snacking any time of the day. We make up a big batch every week and the kids even take it to school with yoghurt for a snack (minus the nuts). You can find my favourite recipe for it here in Sugar Free Baking. 
Sugar Free Granola from Sugar Free Baking
Bliss Balls
If you haven’t tried these yet then make it your mission! They’re everywhere – health stores, yoga centres, gyms – everywhere! And they’re so easy to make! All you have to do is grab one on the way out the door and it’ll keep you going for a couple of hours! Here’s a basic recipe:

1 cup nuts ( I prefer almonds that have been soaked and sprouted then dried)
Handful of medjool dates
1 Tb honey
1 Tb tahini
pinch of salt
1 cup coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tb coconut oil
1 Tb cacao
Your favourite superfoods added (green powders, maca, cacao etc)
Blend all in the blender then roll into balls and store in the fridge.
If you want more variations on the bliss ball like how to add essences and fruit for a flavour sensation then check out Sugar Free Baking. 

Strawberry bliss balls with pistachio sherbet from Sugar Free Baking
Hopefully now you’re 100 % inspired to make your breakfast the night before so that you’re all ready for a busy day! Look after yourself beautiful Mama, you’re worth it! This Saturday I’ll be down at the Barwon Heads hall with Nerine from Power and Vinyasa Yoga and Harriet from Natural Harry talking all things yoga and breakfast! We’ll be giving you a 100% organic smoothie from Natural Harry to get you started for the weekend. If you haven’t got your tickets yet then get them here NOW! (And bring a friend to make it even more fun!)

Meet my yoga instructor!

One of my favourite things to do is showcase other health and wellness professionals that can support you beautiful Mama’s on your journey to wellness. We Mum’s like word of mouth when it comes to choosing our support people – we also like to know a little bit about that person to see if they’re  a good ‘fit’ for us. So this week you’re going to meet Nerine McDonald and find out how she ended up doing yoga in skinny jeans (not a good idea!) and her favourite pick me up for low energy. Nerine is our stunning yoga instructor for Australia’s Ultimate Yoga Event For Mums on March 1st. You’ll have the chance to ask any question you want of her about yoga on the morning (whilst sipping on C-Coconut Water!) Early Bird tickets have now sold out but you can still get general admission for a few more days. Buy your ticket here! 

Welcome Nerine!  You’re a yoga instructor in Barwon Heads – can you tell me what your earliest yoga memory is?
Learning how to carry myself, to stand up straight and erect! I’ve been 6″ tall since I was 12 years old – something akin to a stooping bean pole! Also, the feelings of bliss and contentment experienced from the practice – unlike anything I had never experienced before.

And your weirdest yoga moment?
Definitely substitute teaching a last minute class in a very large popular Gym, IN SKINNY JEANS, on a Podium with a Madonna headset microphone entangled in my long wavy hair…
Farting and falling asleep are all natural, normal and very common  Yoga occurrences in case you were wondering!

Tell us about what teaching yoga means to you?
I live for the experience and benefits I have obtained through Yoga personally – it feels only natural to share Yoga with others and hopefully make a difference to someone’s day, perhaps even their life. I am grateful for the opportunity to share Yoga Practices I continue to study, and facilitate classes supporting others on their path to unity of mind, body and soul.

What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means a complete experience of health and happiness in thoughts, words and actions. Easily said… not so easily accomplished in a world so full of fast paced lifestyles, technology, pollutants and competition! Healthy eating will only take you so far along the path of health, we must consider our internal dialogue along with the way we speak to, and treat other humans, animals and our environment.

What’s one thing you do daily to be kind to yourself?
Ooh! My Yoga practice – be it 5 minutes of breathing exercises (Pranayam) and a mini-meditation to help wash away a cranky mood and become present, or a session of strong physical Yoga Postures (Asana) to lift me up!
A little forgiveness everyday always helps, we try our best – let it be enough sometimes.

Your favourite 3pm ‘go to’ craving killer…?
Rice cakes with Almond Butter and Dates… and…an inversion! When one inverts, (or gets upside down!) four major systems of the body are affected positively – cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Tissue fluids of the lower extremities drain—far more effectively than when one is asleep and areas of congestion clear. Blood will drain quickly to the heart, tissue fluids will flow more efficiently into the veins and lymph channels of the lower extremities and of the abdominal/ pelvic organs, facilitating a healthier exchange of nutrients and wastes between cells and capillaries.

5 words you would use to describe yourself?
Dreamer, joker, energetic, happy, compassionate

The weirdest ingredient in your pantry and what you use it for?
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is pretty weird! I have a ‘no speaking to me policy’ while I am taking my daily shot. It’s not pretty, but once it goes down I find it helps when my skin is lacking clarity (i.e. pimple attack), clears digestive stagnancy and puts a little pep in my step.

Nerine teachers Vinyasa, Purna & Hatha styles of Yoga in Geelong, The Bellarine and Surfcoast. find her on facebook: PowerVinyasaYogaBarwonHeads


I’ll be happy when…

Have you ever caught yourself saying the following? “I’ll be happy when..”

  • We own our own home…
  • The mortgage is paid…
  • The kids sleep through the night…
  • My boss quits and I get some peace at work…
  • The school holidays are over…
  • My son gets a new school teacher…

Guilty as charged – I used to find myself saying things like all of the time. I believed that my happiness was caused by external factors miraculously falling into place. What I realised over time though was that my happiness didn’t increase when these external factors fell into place. Strangely, I just found more external desires to replace them. Like…

  • We own our own home but now we have to pay for it! (I’ll be happy when the mortgage is paid off)
  • The mortgage is paid but I don’t like this house anymore (I’ll be happy when we get a nicer house)
  • The kids are sleeping through but geez 2 year olds are hard work! (I’ll be happy when we’re over the toddler stage)

You see, telling yourself that your happiness is dependent on external factors falling into place is like telling yourself there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You’re NEVER going to get there to find out because the end of the rainbow doesn’t exist!

True happiness lies within yourself. It’s about finding peace and happiness in every moment and stage of your life no matter what difficulties you’re experiencing. It’s about turning every negative into a positive:

  • I am so very blessed to have a beautiful home and a good job so that I can pay my mortgage off. I’m blessed to just have a mortgage!
  • Even though I find it tiring to get up at night to my kids, I truly cherish those moments in the dark hours when it’s just me and him, cuddling softly and breathing each other’s breath
  • The school holidays are challenging towards the end, but when I make it fun and focus on the kids I know we’re making memories that will last a lifetime

Challenging your thoughts like this is so important for true health. It’s proven that focusing on positives, meditating daily, doing yoga and other meditative practices lowers your stress levels, anxiety, helps to reduce depression and improves your general wellbeing significantly.

You will not ‘be happy when…’. Happiness is inside of you today, you just need to tap into it!

If you want to learn how to start tapping into your inner happiness then join me on March 1st in Barwon Heads for ‘Australia’s Ultimate Yoga Event For Mums’. It will be the beginning of a truly life changing experience for you and your family’s happiness. 3 days left on early bird tickets!