TUESDAY TIP: How to create order and focus for peaceful mornings

With most schools back this week, we thought tips that helped create peaceful mornings were rather timely. 

Certified feng shui consultant, Karen Kertesz recalls: 

Our school morning routine was extremely busy with my daughter often in tears and stress culminating just before we walked out the door. 

It had been concerning me for a while, but then, not one but two new ideas came about that changed my mornings forever. 

The first change was in the order of things. Instead of getting myself ready first, I had my daughter ready with hair done, uniform on with shoes and socks BEFORE I went in the shower and got myself ready. So simple, right? But, the difference it made was incredible. No stress, no tears, and no raising my voice to coerce my daughter to finish getting dressed before we left for school.

Secondly, I realized there were just three main things to focus on in the morning – make breakfast, pack the lunches and get dressed for the day ahead. I began to focus on each one separately, with minimal crossover in-between.

First, I fed my daughter, then myself, then the pets.
Second, I prepared our lunches for the day with no distractions. If my daughter made a request, she came to me, not the other way around. This was a lovely side effect of being so focused. I was calling the shots!

Third, I helped my daughter get dressed, with minimal fuss. We tied back her hair and put on her shoes. Then, it was my turn to shower and prepare myself for work. 

And what did I find? There was time left over! No having to look at the clock every few minutes, just at the end of each main task. I checked the time a little at first, but once I knew that being focused made the task quicker, I realized that everything would indeed be completed. Solution found and morning peace returned.”

Adapted from “Win Back Your Time” by Karen Kertesz
Karen is a certified feng shui consultant. “A flowing space in clutter’s place”. Learn more about Karen and her practice at www.emeraldspace.com.au

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My Top Gift Tips: Sara Eastwood, MyBestGift.com.au

The best gifts are ones that create happy memories, either by the way they’re used, or by the memories they create when they are enjoyed. This is where “experiences” make great gifts, says Sara Eastwood from MyBestGift.com.au. Experiences are also a great choice for the “hard-to-buy-for” or people who don’t like “stuff”. 

1. The best gift I ever received was…
“A surprise weekend away to Palm Beach from my boyfriend (now husband)! I’d only been living in Sydney for short while and hadn’t ventured up to the northern beaches. He was telling me how great it was and the next day called me to tell me he’d booked that weekend in Palm Beach for us. I loved it so much, we’ve since moved north (and got married and had two kids)!”

2. The top gift on my wish list is…
“Diving with Whale Sharks, but I think I’ll have to wait a few years for that one.”

3. The best gift I have ever given was…
“Oooh that’s a tough one! Every year since we’ve had kids, I’ve done a photo book of our girls, for the grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ Christmas presents. It’s the one gift that I know they all really appreciate and look forward to receiving and I love doing it for them.”

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…
“My Dad. He’s always been so content with what he has, never asks or wants for anything, which makes it tricky!”

5. The best last-minute gift is…
“An e-Voucher from MyBestGift.com.au. Give an experience gift to someone special! You can order these as late as Christmas morning, miss the craziness of the shopping centres and print it off at home, or email it direct to the recipient, easy!”

6. My hot gift buying tip is…
“Experiences!! Experiences create lasting memories and make us happier :-)”

Mum-of-two Sara Eastwood is from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and is founder of www.MyBestGift.com.au.

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My Favourite Quote: Amanda Vanelderen, WorkWords

“Confidence is like respect, you have to earn it. Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.” 
– Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?

“I love the idea that you’re allowed to feel entitled to something if you know you’ve worked hard for it. You don’t have to be born confident, work hard at getting great at what you do, and you earn the right to confidence,” says Amanda. 

Amanda Vanelderen is Chief Copywriter with WorkWords. Learn more at www.workwords.com.au

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Australia Day Recipes: Jelly Belly Pavlova

Super-charge your Pavlova this Australia Day by adding some delicious fruit-flavoured Jelly Belly jelly beans. The kids will love decorating this gorgeous Australia Day treat. 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time

Serves 6

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 drops vanilla essence
  • 300ml thickened cream, whipped
  • Jelly Belly beans to decorate

Australia Day Jelly Belly Pavlova

1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced. Line a large tray with baking paper.
2. With 2 electric beaters, beat egg whites in a large clean bowl until sift peaks form. Slowly
beat in sugar ¼ cup at a time, until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle over cornflour,
vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a metal spoon.
3. Trace an outline of a map of Australia (perfect for the kids to do!) on the prepared baking
tray. Don’t forget Tassie!
4. Pile meringue into the centre of the map and gently push out to edges, keeping the
Australia shape. Repeat for Tassie. Top with any remaining meringue and pile as high as you can.
5. Reduce heat to 150°C or 130°C fan forced, and cook for 30-35 minutes till slightly golden.
Turn off oven and leave Pavlova to cool completely.
6. Spread with whipped cream and decorate with Jelly Belly jelly beans for the states and
territories. Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Jelly Belly used – Very Cherry, Green Apple, Lemon, Berry Blue, Blueberry, Cotton Candy and Tangerine.

Find out more about the Jelly Belly story and confectionary at www.jellybelly.com.au

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TUESDAY TIP: Vanessa Treverrow, Simply Decluttered

Organising little things in your home can give you a huge boost. Vanessa Treverrow from Simply Decluttered shares some advice on a small area of the home you could tackle this week…

The perfect organising solution is the one that works for you and your family. Let’s take the humble sock drawer. You may love the Marie Kondo style organisation of beautifully rolled socks graded from dark to light. Another person may love their socks in baskets according to type – sports socks, office socks and casual shoe socks. Or the Steve Jobs’ approach of every sock the same – very efficient and they never have to be paired again. Here’s a tip for parents: if you want your child or teenager to put away their own clothes and socks, make it possible for them. My own children each have their own style – and allowing them to go with what makes it easy for them to put away their own things. Less work for mum and dad and a calmer home for all. Enjoy!”

Decluttering is more than a buzz word – it’s making space for life. www.simplydecluttered.com.au

My Top Gift Tips: Jodie McGregor, Jodie McGregor Flowers

The best gifts are the unexpected, thoughtful ones, like the big bunch of flowers Jodie McGregor received from some of her customers. This week Jodie shares her other Top Gift Tips with us…

1. The best gift I ever received was…
“A big bunch of flowers on Mother’s Day given to me by some wonderful customers who wanted me to enjoy the day too. Their thoughtfulness after I’d worked 48 hours straight brought tears to my eyes.”

2. The top gift on my wish list is… 
“A pre-booked massage and facial. Gift vouchers are great but when it’s pre-booked you’re not running around like crazy trying to use a voucher just before it expires.”

3. The best gift I have ever given was…
“One that I got to share – a holiday to Bedarra Island with my husband and three kids. Gorgeous sunsets, crystal clear water and…….no shops or mobile reception!”

Bedarra Island holiday gift

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…
“My husband as he has no filter and says exactly what he thinks of any present I buy him. I guess I can’t complain that he’s not honest………”

5. The best last-minute gift is…
“A magazine subscription. It’s quick and easy and the recipient gets to enjoy a nice surprise all year round.”

6. My hot gift buying tip is……..
“Think beyond roses at Valentine’s Day. Supply and demand issues push the prices of roses up but not other flowers.”

Jodie is the founder of Jodie McGregor Flowers, the winner of the 2016 NSW and ACT Sydney Fresh Florist of the Year and creates stunning floral bouquets online and at her Annandale, Sydney retail store. www.jodie.com.au 

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GIFT OF THE WEEK: Leather Tool Belt (large) $54.95

Keep your tools at your finger tips with this handy Leather Tool Belt, which features:
Two pockets to hold tools such as secateaurs or a small garden trowel, fork, etc. 
– An adjustable waist strap.

This tool belt would also be handy for DIY enthusiasts to put their pliers, screwdriver and other tools in.

My Favourite Quote: Leann Middlemass, Wellness coach

This week Wellness coach Leann Middlemass shares two of her favourite quotes with us:

“You are your own Destiny.”

“I teach personal development and understand that decisions come from what we know. 
Our memories are activated and the attached emotion (which attaches itself at inception) provides our actions and reactions in the now. You can only hold one memory at a time, thus one emotion. So you get to choose if you want to happy or sad. So how you feel is up to you. Therefore you are your own destiny,” explains Leann. 

“If nothing changes – nothing changes.”

“We all know that knowledge is king, but without action it’s fruitile.

Imagine stepping into an elevator and wanting to go to the fourth floor but not pushing the button. The doors close – yet nothing happens. You are right where you are even if an hour passes. You have to make the first step (push the button to the forth floor.)
If you do not make the effort nothing happens. Therefore if nothing changes (and you just stand in the elevator) then nothing changes (you are right where you started.) 

Leann Middlemass is a Wellness coach, specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy. Leann can help unlock the traumas from the past that could be impacting your life in the now. Leann believes that “Once we leave the past behind we have the opportunity to live ever day in the present. It is here that happiness resides.” Learn more at www.soulinsights.com.au

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