PbtlBsKQc7I0sxbpMzyKguLLAVA Caz Filmer Writes - The Truth About Mummy & Ballarat For Families

One of the best things about belonging to the greater community of ‘bloggers’ is that there is always someone new and interesting to get to know.  While bloggers can be a bit of an eclectic bunch, all focused on our own particular passion, we share a huge chunk of common ground and a basic inert desire to communicate.  (Interestingly being that so very many of us are introverts!).    Get us together and there is bound to be some lively discussion, loud laughter and good times.      Today I thought what better thing to do than introduce you to just a few of my own local blogging tribe – the Ballarat Bloggers. 

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This is Dorothy.  She is the inspiration behind Ballarat Bloggers and an amazing connector of people.  Dorothy writes with a passion and honesty that puts most of, with our ‘polished up’ online highlights reels, to shame.  She is a true wordsmith and communicates with a touching combination of finesse and passion.  You can find Dorothy at A Blog Of Her Own and on her business site Dorothy K where she supports others to reach their own business dreams with website building, business coaching and content creation. I can  totally recommend her if you need some support making an impact online with your own business venture. 

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This is Louise.  Louise is the  passionate Ballarat business woman behind Blossom Connect.  The thing I love most about Louise is her ability to pick up an inspirational idea and make it happen.  Where many people (read me) lack the follow through to truly make their ideas become reality, Louise seems to have that particular ability in bucket loads.   Blossom Connect is an inspiration website designed to support local Ballarat families.   Its brings to your fingers tips local ideas and inspiration but has its roots firmly planted in Louise’s desire to support children and encourage them to be the best they can be. It’s full of services, activities and insight.  Well worth checking out – especially if live in and around Ballarat. 

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This is Sharon.  If you have ever sat down and listened to this lady tell a story you will know she’s one of those people who can weave words so well you simply cannot help leaning forward to listen to her.  Sharon has run many a blog over her time but right now is concentrating a food blog about purchasing, preparing and enjoying good quality food on a budget.   Budget Bounty is a collection of recipes with tips for beginner cooks, gluten-free goodies and just generally eating well while spending less.  Get on over there and get yourself some cooking inspiration!

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And finally, for today, this is Brigit.  This beautiful woman is a wealth of information and inspiration.   She recently released her own e-book called Seven Days of Gorgeous Green Smoothies. (Follow the link to find out more).    What she can’t tell you about green goodness is probably not worth knowing.    She also blogs at The Inspired Notebook where she provides fabulous holistic approach to life while exploring her passions and inspiring others to live life as their authentic self. 

There you go. And that’s just four of our amazing Ballarat Bloggers.   There are many more of us.  Wonderful women (and men) who share words from the heart, tell stories and help others by following our own passions.  Go visit them and leave a comment.   Tell them I sent you over because I think they’re all a bit awesome.  It’s honestly such a pleasure to belong to the Ballarat Blogging Network.   I love having word nerding buddies. 

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Docket Dairies: learning new things.

by Caz on April 30, 2015 · 4 comments

This post is brought to you by Shop-A-Dockets

This week I learned something new about Shop-A-Dockets.   Two weeks into this four-week challenge I seriously thought I had them sussed out and was even enjoying that ‘clever smug’ feeling you get from working out something new.  Like how Shop-A-Dockets have a website where you can check out what’s available all over Australia and pre-plan what you can use, without even going to the supermarket. (Yeah, best to keep me out of the supermarket as much as possible.)   But then today I realised there is a Shop-A-Docket’s App.  Seriously?  Why didn’t I know that already?  You mean you don’t even have to print the dockets out?   (Well doh, it’s 2015 of course there is and App.) 

The best thing about their being an  App is that because it’s in your phone you always have your Shop-A-Dockets with you.  I love how simple that makes getting the most out of them.   You can be sitting in the car anywhere, pull out your phone, do a quick search and have a Shop-A-Docket bargain ready at your fingers tips.   That’s pretty  simple and smart.   If you want  to motivate me to do or use anything  you really need to make it as simple and fuss free as possible.   So good move there. 

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Anyhoo this week I decided to shout a lovely new  friend out for lunch using a buy one get one free meal deal at the Curry Star in Ballarat.  As with last weeks little Shop-A-Docket adventure I had never been to the Curry Star before and this time I have to tell you I was pretty pleased with the experience.   The Chicken Tikka Masala was oh so delicious. I will  definitely be going back for more of that.  And as a double bonus I got to use the Shop-A-Docket App – which was accepted without the raising of an eyebrow.  

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Cheers!

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Next week will be the last of my four Shop-A-Docket posts – bringing the challenge to close.  I’ll be giving you a full run-down on my thoughts about Shop-A-Dockets as well as reporting back on one last little adventure using them.   One things is for sure they have certainly come a long way since they started back in the 1980s.  For goodness sakes they have an app!          

Until then my Docket Diaries ………..

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chocolate bliss balls cuisine Companion

I have had the pleasure of having a Cuisine Companion in my kitchen for almost two months now and what I am loving most about my Cee Cee is how easy she has made making healthy choices.  These days, when I’ve been too busy (read forgetful) to plan for tea, I can throw a risotto together for the girls in less time than it takes to cook fish fingers in the oven.   That my friends is called winning,  especially when you are fighting an ongoing war against processed foods. 

Anyhoo today I though I’d share my own version of Chocolate Bliss Balls with you.  These I make more for myself than the kids, although they do love them too.   They are totally delicious, very filling and made from real food ingredients.   Having something like this tucked away in my fridge (usually hidden at the back so little fingers can’t find them) makes me very happy when the late evening sugar cravings hit.  Perfect to put your feet up with once the kids are in bed.

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You’ll find a printable recipe below, but for those of you who need to know ingredients up front my chocolate bliss balls  are made from natural or unsalted cashews, pitted medjool dates  (slightly bigger and plumper than regular dates), sultanas, cacoa (or cocoa if you prefer), coconut oil and coconut. 

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Place 250g of unsalted cashews into the Cuisine Companion bowl with the Ultra Blade (Sharp) attached. Seal on the lid and work at speed 12 for 20 seconds.   Remove lid and add 220 grams of medjool dates.  Work at speed 12 for another 20 seconds.  The mixture will then look like the picture below.

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Remove lid and pop in 150 grams of sultanas.  Work at speed 12 for another 20 seconds. (Yes there is a 20 second theme here.)   The mixture will now start to clump together and form a more solid mass.   (As seen below.)

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Add two tablespoons of cacoa and one tablespoon of coconut oil.   Seal the lid and mix at speed 12 for a further 30 seconds.    As the mixture comes together you will start to here more of a thumping sounds from Cee Cee as the lump moves around the bowl.  Feel free to adjust the 30 seconds if you think the mixture needs more or less time for this stage. 

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The  mixture will now be a perfect consistency for rolling into small balls.

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You should be able to make approximately 30 balls from this recipe, depending on the size you make.  Roll each ball into the coconut and pop into a sealed container in the fridge ready to eat when hunger strikes.   Alternatively you can press the entire mixture into a sealable container and cut it into squares once it’s fully fridge cold.   (This method is less time-consuming and less messy but not as much fun.)

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These chocolate bliss balls are delicious and meet a lot of special dietary requirement but best of all, from my point of view, they are simple, natural and pretty much unprocessed.     Do you have a favourite Cuisine Companion recipe?   Link me up in the comments if you do because I am loving learning all of the wonderful things this baby can make happen. 

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DISCLAIMER:  I was fortunate enough to be gifted my Cuisine Companion and while this doesn’t alter my style of writing I do prefer my reader are made fully aware. 

Chocolate Bliss Balls
Yields 30
A healthy a delicious snack sugar free, gluten free and unprocessed.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Natural Cashews (250g)
  2. Madjool Dates (220g)
  3. Saltanas (150g)
  4. Cacoa (2 tablespoons)
  5. Coconut Oil (1 tablespoon)
  6. Coconut for rolling.
Instructions
  1. Insert Ultra Blade into your Cuisine Companion
  2. Add chashews and work at speed 12 for 20 seconds
  3. Add madjool dates (pitts removed) and work at speed 12 for another 20 seconds
  4. Add sultanas and work at speed 12 for a further 20 seconds
  5. Add Cacoa and coconut oil and work at speed 12 for 30 seconds.
  6. Roll the mixture into approximately 30 balls and store in the fridge. (Alternatively press into a container and cut into square once the mixture is fully cooled. Again store in the fridge.)
Notes
  1. There are many similar recipes for bliss balls - this is simply my variation and the one I enjoy the most. This recipe could be prepared in a blender or similar. However times for working may vary.
Caz Filmer Writes http://www.thetruthaboutmummy.com/

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This post is brought to you by Shop-A-Dockets

 

Life is an adventure

I think the thing I am enjoying the most about my crazy quest to use Shop-A-Dockets is that it’s making me be adventurous.   You know, getting out and doing things and going places I might never have considered before I took up this challenge.  That in itself is a good thing.   A splash of curiosity and a little adventure makes for a much more colorful life – don’t you think?  (Well certainly for me it does  as I have well established tendencies  towards being boring safe and cozy.)

Anyhow diary on Monday I met up with Dorothy (from A Blog of Her own) outside of a rather  interesting looking establishment for a Shop-A-Docket  lunch.   (I confess straight up that neither of us would thought to lunch there without the inspiration of this challenge.)   We stood out the front and exchanged questioning glances before giving ourselves a little pep talk about adventure and walking on in.    The place was totally deserted and the decor a little less than we expected, but we sat ourselves down in a sunny window seat, ordered a glass of wine and did lunch.

Docket Diaries Buy One Get One Free meal

Turns out our meals were okay and, as with most good  lunches dates, the conversation soon eclipsed the surroundings and we spent a couple of chilled out hours  enjoying some ‘time out’ from our busy lives.  We even managed to solve one or two of the worlds bigger problems and iron out a few kinks in the greater blogosphere (you might want to thank us for that later.)  It was relaxed, the services was friendly and we both left feeling full and happy.

But to be honest what I liked best about this Shop-A-Docket exploit was that it took me  to somewhere new and unexpected.   Somewhere a little left-of-field to my normal.  I guess you could say it expanded my horizons.   So it appears that Shop-A-Dockets and the Docket Diaries have done more than provide me with a bargain. They’ve helped me feel adventurous – which is something I totally didn’t see coming. 

Have you check out your local Shop-A-Dockets yet?  (Use the link to see what’s available around your postcode.)   I’d love to hear how your own Shop-A-Docket adventure went or why you do or don’t use them.  

Until next week dear diary …………….

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Life in pictures ….

by Caz on April 18, 2015 · 4 comments

 

The Seventh Birthday Party

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Sonny Bird

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A crazy day at the beach

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A self-portrait

Our week in pictures

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Docket Diaries

by Caz on April 15, 2015 · 6 comments

This post is brought to you by Shop-A-Dockets.

Have you ever used a Shop-A-Docket?   I have to confess, despite seeing them pretty much every time I do my weekly shop,  I don’t think I have.   Why is that I wonder?  I love a bargain as much as the next person, maybe more even, but for some reason I barely  give my receipts  a second glance.  Am I missing out on something here?  Maybe it’s time I took a second look. 

Well actually (as you may have guessed) I’ve taken up the challenge to blog about Shop-A-Dockets, dairy style, for the next four weeks.  I am going to make sure I  use at least one docket every week and report back here on how the experience goes and whether I really think they are worth that second look.    Call it a little social experiment I’m playing on myself.   I need to find out if I’ve been missing out on all the bargain.

One little Shop-A-Docket tip that I didn’t know is that you can find all the deals on-line these days.  The clever bit about this is when you’re heading off on your family holiday (as we did over Easter) you can check out what deals are available before you get there.  I think we’d all agree that savings on meals and kids activities are a big bonus to the holiday budget – especially when you can pre-plan it. 

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Anyhoo for my first Docket Diaries experience I decided to choose something very close to my heart.  COFFEE. Coffee is, after all, the life-blood of an insomniac.  (It’s 4.00am on my  side of the screen right now.)  Both of the Gloria Jean’s here in Ballarat have a Shop-A-Docket deal where you can get a second cup half price.  That’s seriously not bad. For the effort of carrying around a little piece of paper in your purse you can shout a friend out for coffee for two bucks.  (Or maybe make them pay full price and keep the $2.00 deal yourself – just depends on how much sleep you’ve had  and where you are on the grumble-bum geiger-counter.)   Oh yeah,  or maybe just drink them both yourself, although from personal experience I don’t recommend that approach. 

All in all I left feeling happy – as you do after two cups of coffee.    Gloria Jean’s had no problems accepting the Shop-A-Docket, I got myself a little bargain and I had coffee (lots of coffee).   What’s not to like about that.   The only thing that could have made the whole things  better would have been taking someone else to drink that second cup.   (Maybe then I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this at 4.30am in the morning.)

Until next week my Docket Diaries ………..

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Those words up there in the title are a  direct quote from the  Media Release for Taryn Brumfitt’s new book. EMRACE ~  My story from body loather to body lovers.  But honestly I could have spoken them myself – probably along with half the rest of the female population of the western world.   What is it with us and our bodies?  Why do so many wonderful, funny, creative, adorable and clever human beings hate the vessel they were born into to live out their lives on this earth?  If you’re looking for answers to this question you may have come to the wrong place.  I don’t have any.  What I do know is that it’s a deep and potentially debilitating issue that stops many wonderful women from reaching their full potential – and that sucks.   

what if I could live happily with my body?

I feel like I was born with body issues.  I can remember very  early on in life feeling an actual and real hatred towards my legs.  You see I have heavy thighs with a big booty and have to stretch  myself to reach my 164cms or 5’4″.   I well remember the day my Dad christened my legs tree trunks.  (Yeah, I know, but he didn’t have the luxury of understanding how words like that can affect a young girl.)  Throughout school and right up into my twenties and even early thirties I spent an immense amount of time obsessing over my body – both trying to change it and simple hating the way it was.    Looking back now, and thinking about how much of my younger self’s energy and vitality was absorbed by my own body hatred, I shudder.    How many achievements and how much fun did I miss out on because I was too immersed in my own self-loathing to recognise them?

Today I am forty-four, and although my body has changed a little over the years, I can happily say I love it.  It’s far from perfect, whatever the hell that is, but I feel forgiving and kind towards it and I enjoy treating it well.   What changed?  It might have been children.    While bearing them adds stretch marks and flappy bits to your body, their presence in your life makes you so much more widely aware.   I made a decision very early on in my parenting journey that I would always speak positively about my body in front of my girls, in the hope that this would give them permission to love their own bodies.   All three are very clear about the fact that I love my big butt.  Maybe I spoke those words so often I started to believe them myself?  I don’t know.   But I do know my perception has changed a lot as I’ve grown older. 

I still have moments were my thoughts plummet back into the dark desperate abyss of self-hatred.  Things were pretty bad for me for a long time.  Words like bulimia were bounced around and I seriously struggled to like, let alone love and respect,  myself.    But these days I treat my body like I would a  friend.    I care for it.  I have compassion and forgiveness for it and I don’t expect perfection.  I enjoy the fact my girls think I’m soft to cuddle and, like the velveteen rabbit, I’ve embraced being real. 

I haven’t even started reading Taryn Brumfitt’s EMBRACE yet.  In fact I only pulled it out of the mailbox ten minutes before I started writing this post.  Just the front cover and the Press Release had my inner Word Nerd on a rampage.    I am a self-confessed fan of her work though.  I contributed to her crowd-funding campaign and I love her message.  I want girls from the new emerging generation to understand this stuff and not lose years of their lives in a cesspool of self-hatred.     I want  my own girls to grow up knowing their bodies are amazing, just like they are, and to use them to achieve all of their dreams and ambitions.   I want to help stamp out the deception that there is even such a thing as a perfect  body and embrace the concept that we’re all perfect in our imperfection. 

Right, all that said I best go read the book now.    But tell me did you grow up understanding that you need to love your own body?

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At the start of this year I decided it was time I thought seriously about learning to care for myself.  Typical of most mums I am fabulously good at caring for my family.  I can anticipating their needs with almost scary accuracy and have spent the past tens doing so – both day and night.   But as for treating myself with the same kindness?  Hmmmmm,  well let’s just say it had never even occurred to me that I should – or even could for that matter.  I come from a long and well established line of martyrs, and to put it simply I grew up thinking self-care was just another word for ‘selfish’. 

Learning to care for yourself

But if you read along here regularly you’ll know my life has had its emotional challenges lately.  At some point a light bulb went on in my head and  I realised I had to get to grips with true,  honest and realistic self-care.   I’ve lived in the belief that the best gift you can give those around you is your own happiness  for years  (because it releases them from ever having to worry about you)  but for some reason I still expected other people to pick up the cheque when it comes to caring for me.    I was  living under the false belief that just because I  cared for others they would automatically  do the same for me.  It’s actually come as a bit of a  relief to know I can care for myself.  It feels amazing and even empowering.   So much so that today I thought I’d share a few things I’ve come across that have really resonated with me – because maybe they will do the same for you.

Marthe From The  Freedom Experiment told me that “self-care is the practice of treating yourself with enough respect that you honour and fulfil your own needs as they arise.”  She believers this is an ongoing job that involves asking yourself what you need right now and learning to deliver yourself the same high level of care that you already provide for others.  (Marthe might be a mother too I suspect).

Learning to care for yourself

World Of Psychology  have put to rest my fear of confusing self-care with selfishness with these words.   Self-care absolutely is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness is lacking any consideration about others and profiting by this. Self-care is about making sure that we are well and healthy so that we are more available to help others. They are in fact polar opposites.”

And for my final gem for today it’s back to Marthe who provides some hints on how to actually learn to take care of yourself by pointing  out that  “the true currency of self-care isn’t money – it’s time, compassion, attention and intention.   If you treat yourself as someone worthy of your time, care and attention, you will eventually start feeling like you are.  Don’t wait for the feeling to come first, lead and it will follow. ” .

Do  you have thoughts on learning to care for yourself?  I think most mums must go through a stage where we have to claim back our ability to honestly and openly care for ourselves.  For me it’s important my daughters see me lovingly looking after myself  so they grow up being free to do the same.    Let me be honest here,  this is  a baby steps process and I have to remind myself A LOT, but thankfully I am well on my way.  What does self-care mean to you?

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I have been busting my buttons trying to find time to post about my flying trip up to Sydney last week to check out the Tefal Cuisine Companion.   Sometime, as bloggers, we are lucky enough to get invited to take part in some seriously fun  and exciting  projects  and for me this is one of those.    Along with a small team of other Aussie foodie and parenting bloggers I got see how this little baby works first-hand in the masterchef-esk kitchens of the Sydney Seafood School.  Impressive stuff.    But that’s not the end of this tale.   I also got to bring home my very own Cuisine Companion.   It would be an understatement to say that being one of the first people in Australia to test drive this awesome piece of French design in my own kitchen has had me a little  excited ….. a complete understatement. 

A Tefal-Cuisine-Companion

It was a ‘flying trip’ to Sydney in the true sense of the words.   I’m pretty sure Jac (Common Chaos Chronicles) and I spent more time in cars, planes, taxis and airport waiting areas than anything else.  But even so it was quite the adventure for us country gals.  Nothing like some good company to pass the travel time.

CommonChaos and CazFilmerWrites

The event itself was top-notch.  Beautiful, informative and fun.   After a short demonstration we all got to cook up our own culinary masterpiece with the Cuisine Companion in the state of the art kitchens of the Sydney Seafood School.     By the end of the night we all, the cooks and the non-cooks alike, had made a delicious risotto or a sumptuous baked cheese cake.  (I know – so clever.)  Then we were all seated at a gorgeous banquet table in the cooking school dinning room to enjoy our handiwork.   It was a fabulous evening with excellent company and, if I do say so myself, delicious food.

Cuisine Companion Kitchen

A few more extended taxi rides and delayed flights later and Jac and I landed back in Melbourne with our carefully guarded Cuisine Companions – all set to embark on a new adventure in family cooking.  I’d secretly made a deal with myself that I was going to use the Cuisine Companion, now known as Cee Cee to her friends, to cook for my family everyday.    If you follow me on Instagram you’ll  know I’ve pretty much kept to this plan (and you may well be cursing my over-abundance of foodie posts).  I have made beautiful chicken stock, nut butters, perfect meringues, delicious risotto, corn fritters, home-made tomato sauce,  ratatouille, beef stroganoff, short-crust pastry biscuits, soups and taco filling.  Yup, my family has eaten very well for the past few days.  And better still, for the first time in a long (LONG) time, I am actually enjoying cooking for them.  

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Over the next few months I’ll be updating you on how Cee Cee and I are getting along.  Let’s be honest, right at the moment I am still in the first flushes of love with her.  She is intuitive, clever, well designed and makes cooking a breeze.  (What more could you want in a great relationship!)  The good people at Tefal will be setting me some cooking challenges and I’ll be posting some of my favourite recipes and letting you know what it is, or isn’t, that makes this little French cooking machine great.    There is a lot to talk about and much cooking to be done.  And I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds. 

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Social Media Free Saturday

Social media is an interesting beast.  I’ve pretty much lived and breathed it since I started this blog back in 2009 – but if I’m honest I’m only starting to really ‘get it’ now – six years later.    Maybe that’s because these days I make part of my income in the world of digital communications, or perhaps because I’ve had my first experience of feeling a bit burned by social media recently.  (First time in six years – that’s pretty lucky I know.)    Or,  more likely, it’s because I’m starting to see how social media is going impact the world of my girls in the not so distant future. 

This year the powers that be deemed it necessary for my eldest to have an iPad for school.  (Deep breaths.)  To be honest I’m fully supportive of technology becoming part of education.    In fact I think it’s  really important.  Our kids are going grow up in a world filled with technology and school is one of the safest and most productive places for them to learn about it. 

But what I didn’t expect was how the new school iPad was going to opened up our home to an entire new level of social media.   Suddenly my daughter has access to email, face-time and a plethora of other junior social media produced by the Department of Education.  In the past my girls have never been overly obsessive about screen time or games. We’ve never had to worried too much about managing their online time or restricting access – because they didn’t really care that much.    But now that the social aspect of technology has arrived, I can see that this is going to change – quickly.  

Where as I used to have to  beg my mum to let me call my friends on our home phone (admittedly we talked for hours on end)  kids these days can face-time, message and email each other.   The social aspect of school life can keep running way outside of school hours.    You can send each other emails at night to arrange what to play at lunch time tomorrow and organised play dates before your parents even know you’re chatting.  It’s a brave new world of social overload. 

Now all these things are genuinely okay on their own, but what I am starting to see is that social media is luring my girl in and there is a real danger of it beginning to suck up too much of her life.  And that’s before we even start to think about the more  far-reaching implications. I think the time has arrived for some purposeful family planning around the use of  social media in our home. 

So this, along with my own personal revelation that I too need downtime, has led me to Social Media Free Saturdays.  I am beginning to think that as people we don’t actually turn off or enter into downtime when we are continually focused on our social media.    As a self-confessed  introvert, who gets my energy from downtime,  that can be exhausting.    Sounds weird I know – but I honestly don’t fully relax when I’m staying connected.  Forcing myself to spend some planned time away has been a revelation and a relaxation all wrapped up in one – not to mention  good role-modelling.

So my weekends are now pretty much social media free.  (To be honest I occasionally sneak a look on my phone – but it’s happening less and less I promise.)   And it feels good.   It’s almost like closing the door on work (or school or whatever the case may be) and walking away into my own life again.   (Feel that?   See it’s relaxing just thinking about it.)      Do you ever feel the need to unplug from social media?  How do you set limits for yourself and your family. 

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I have been struggling to write much about my mums  journey with alzheimers lately.  It’s hard and emotional and writing about it brings it fully into focus.     (In my own true style I’ve been trying to avoid that.)    But as a good friend told me recently you can’t bury your head in the sand forever – even though sometimes I really want to.   A few weeks back we made to tough decision to move mum out of her home.   We have been trying our damndest to preserve as much of her independence as possible, but in the end you have to balance that with personal safety and she had started to dance a little close to the line. 

Alzheimer sucks I will remember

One of the hardest things for me to deal with at the moment is her house – or more importantly her home.   Mum and I have spent most of the past couple of months slowly sorting through her endless piles of things.  She has always been  collector of stuff and very reluctant to throw things away – so there was quite a bit and we never reached the end. We slowly emptied out boxes and sorted through draws.  Sometimes we did them twice – because she’d forget and wouldn’t believe me that we’d been there before.  She talked about things from her past and sat shaking her head while she read old letters from friends and family she was struggling to recall.    I watched on seeing more and more clearly that she had forgotten her attachments and had begun to live only for the now. 

And then the day came the day she moved.    It feels to me like she left mid-sentence, leaving her world hanging and half completed.    But she didn’t seem to mind that so much was unfinished.    She spent her last few hours in her home doing what she normally did on any other day.   And then she simply got into my brother’s car and drove away. Her days as an independently functioning person of the world ended and there was no fuss or fanfare.    

alzheimers it hurts to know

For the first few weeks after she left I’d walk into her house to see her cardigan still sitting on the kitchen bench and her book resting open on the coffee table – all waiting dutifully for her to return.     For days I couldn’t bring myself to wash the plate and cup she left on the sink or to pack up any of her things – because  once I did those last little moments of her life at home were gone forever.

Mum has gone to live with my brother and his very accepting and giving wife.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the way they have taken this challenge on board and run with it.  (If you are reading this you guys totally rock!)  With three little people, and already having my ageing  father-in-law in our own granny flat, reality dictates that I couldn’t take on care of mum as well – even though deep down I feel like I should have.  Her life from this point is going to be better.  She’ll have companionship, be taken out regularly and get to live in the country.  All things she loves.  But most off all she will be safe and have people who love her to help her through this unexpected and unwanted last stage of her life’s journey.   I know she is lucky and I am grateful for that.     

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Sponsored by Epson

Epson Label Works Label Printer

Hello, it’s review and giveaway time!   It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to dedicate to a proper review so I’m kind of glad it’s for something new and a little bit exciting.   Introducing the Epson LabelWorks 400 P Label Printer . It’s a new label maker (or printer) which comes with  the catch cry that it turns organising into art.   Sounds good already hey. 

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 Label making is one of those crazy little extra things they don’t tell you about when you have kids.   As soon as they start venturing out of home you need to start attaching labels to everything they own.  Over the past ten years I can honestly say I have tested out almost every type of labelling device there is available (stickers, stamps, label-makers, pens and inks)  – so I guess I could say I am uniquely qualified for this particular review.  

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In my 2015 Back to School post I went so far as to say when it all boils down, it doesn’t really matter how you do  it (label things) – it just matters that you do.   When it comes to kids, things with labels come home (eventually) and things without don’t.  But now that I’ve met the Epson LabelWorks I’ve realised that label making can actually be fun – and fun is good.   

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In the weeks I’ve been using this nifty little machine, I have to say I’ve really been enjoying it.  It’s easy to work out (handed it to my ten year old as I was opening the box and she was printing fancy-pants labels before I’d had time to read the instructions) and it does a lot of cool stuff.   Pretty gold print messages on ribbon, glow in the dark labels and iron one fabric labels to mention just a few.   It also has 14 different fonts, over 300 built-in symbols, 75 frames, the ability to print bar-codes and a built-in memory for 50 self created label designs.   That’s a pretty good scope for all my labelling needs. 

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The Epson Label Works LW 400 retails for $79.00 and the cartridges start from $25.99 and are available at OfficeWorks.  (Full prices list here.)      The cartridges are easy to insert and swap over and the backing tape is easy to peel off the printed labels.   After two weeks of use, the adhesive seems good and we’ve had no issues with labels flaking or falling off.    The unit is really quiet – meaning you can use it while people are sleeping right next to you (yes I did try that out actually!)  It also has the ability to make nifty labels for cords, wires and stationery.     It uses six AAA batteries but does  have the capability to use mains power. Strangely the adaptor isn’t included in the box -it’s an optional extra. 
Epson LW400P label printer
What I like most about this product is definitely that it makes labelling fun.  It’s been sitting on my desk in easy reach and I’ve found I’ve grabbed it at least a couple of times a days.  I’ve redone my files, made special labels for the girls school book and stationery, labelled our shiny new stain free school shirts and spent a few too many hours playing around with the cool gold print ribbon cartridge.   Oh and I also love the fact the keyboard is the same as your computer – so it’s easy peasy to find the letters you need.   I think I might be a little hooked on this machine.
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So, anyone interested in having some fun making labels?   I have one Epson LW 400P LabelWorks Label Printer that’s looking for a new home.   The giveaway is valued at $110.99 and includes an extra cartridge – to make sure you can spend some quality time creating and exploring all of the cool functions.   The giveaway is open until the 26th of February (midnight) and the winner will be chosen by me for the skill of their answer and  notified by email as well as announced in the title of this post.  Goodluck ~ follow the instruction below to enter.  (See below for full T&C).

  1. In the comments below tell me one lifehack (tip, idea, strategy or technique) that has helped you manage your life in a better way. (It can be anything you like.)
  2. Be kind enough to share this giveaway on Facebook  and then, if you do, please feel free to leave a second entry comment.
  3. Follow Caz Filmer Writes in any way you like (Facebook, Twitter, Feed, email or Pinterest.)
  4. Please leave an email address  that you check regularly – as all giveaways are redrawn if you don’t respond within 5 days.

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Terms and Conditions: The name of the promotion is: Epson LabelWorks Blog Competition The promoter is Caz Filmer Writes  in conjunction with the Epson.  The conditions of entry are as discussed within this post  and in the T&C page above.   Employees, immediate family members, retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies are not eligible to enter. The giveaway will close on 26th of February at midnight.  Comments submitted after this time will not be considered for the giveaway. This is a game of skill. The winner will be awarded based on the strength of their answer to the question stated above.   The prize will be in the form of product which will be sent to the winner once address details have been provided after the competition has closed. The results of the giveaway will be published on this site on or before the 28 february 2015  Prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable The total prize value $110.99 The competition is open to Australian residents only. If for any reason beyond the Promoter’s control the agreed prize is not available a product of equal or greater value will be provided. The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner.

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