Hi lovely readers! I hope you enjoy this day in the life video filmed from our new camera! Blessings, Peta xo
Farm Fresh Organic Produce Haul.
Last week I took a long drive to visit my parents who live out on a farm. They are retired now and spend a lot of time caring for a fruit orchid and vege garden. I love my trips down to see them, I often take one of the children with me and they have a special time with their grandparents.
I never go home with an empty car boot. So I thought I would share with you what they gave me this time.
Watch the fun video below to see what we got from the farm this time! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already so you can see these videos when they very first come out.
Holy Spirit Led Problem Solving.
My mind is not the mathematical type. However at times I see life as a wife and mother as one large puzzle. A puzzle filled with many different shaped pieces and facets. Each area of being a wife and mother needs to fit together in some sort of organised manner, clipped in place like a 1000 piece puzzle.
Meal planning and preparation being one piece of the puzzle, keeping up with dishes being another, then there is the laundry piece, finances piece, quality time with the family piece, showering piece, hair cuts piece, homework piece and even little things become puzzle pieces like the getting out the door on Sunday mornings piece.
There are many problems that need to be solved when you have a family – and even when you are single! Just the problems to be solved seem to multiply when you have a family.
How can I organise my life so all the puzzle pieces fit together and my life runs smoothly in an orderly way and not in chaos?
I pray. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with a certain area in my life I try to remember to bring it before the Lord. The Holy Spirit gently leads and guides me on my path. For example, our bath times used to be very chaotic and exhausting. For years we tried to give all the children a shower or bath 3 nights a week. It was always right at the end of the day after tea when Luke and I were tired. The tea dishes often didn’t get cleaned because it took so long to bath every one. It would take a good hour or so to get everyone bathed and dressed for bed. Often Luke did this completely on his own because I have been either pregnant and feeding babies for so much of the last several years. Bedtimes were often pushed back later then we would like and it was getting to the point were ‘bath nights’ were causing us a great deal of stress.
I prayed to the Lord about it. I was instantly reminded of how during my childhood I only had a bath once a week. This may sound gross to some but it was just the way my parents used to do it. The only time I bathed more often was when I had been out with my dad doing sheep work on the farm or if I had gone to the beach. I showered more often when I reached puberty but throughout most of my childhood – one bath a week was it.
With this in mind Luke and I decided that we would do the same. We also decided to change their wash time to the morning so not to upset our already busy evenings anymore. In the morning (not too early) is when I’m feeling most energetic and bright and fresh.
So now every Saturday morning I give all five children a shower or bath and shampoo their hair. I will also check their toenails and clip any that are getting a bit long. During the week our two youngest daughters get sticky hair so we often give them a midweek bath – but I now do it in the morning after breakfast when I have the most energy.
Making a little change like this can really lift the organisation of our household and make it run smoother with less stress.
Beating the overwhelmed feeling all comes down to prayer and problem solving. If I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed by my day, I need to try to relax, take a step back and look at my problem from a strategic perspective.
What is it exactly that is causing me stress? It could just be the dishes that were left from the night before that is causing me so much work and setting my mornings back. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your life or job at home as a mum then just tackle one problem at a time. Lean on the Holy Spirit and ask the Lord for wisdom. He cares about the small details of our day and if you take time to listen, He will reveal to you the solutions to your challenges. No problem is too big or too small for our Lord Jesus.
Here are some areas which I’m feeling aren’t working as well as they could be and need some work and orgainisation in our house.
- Dishes being left overnight
- School lunches
- Dining table mess left overnight
- Clutter on the kitchen floor and under the table left overnight
- Mornings (I keep sleeping in!)
- My Bedtime
- After school (homework, chores AND piano practice AND tired children…)
- Gardening/watering plants and lawn
- Car cleaning
- Sunday mornings/little ones during church
Slowly slowing I WILL become organised!!
Are there any areas in your life and homemaking/mothering that are bothering you and causing you stress at the moment?
I pray that you can leave overwhelmed behind and find the organisation and peace you are looking for.
Blessings, Peta xo
Get my new ebook Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight HERE. 87 Pages of tips, tricks and encouragement. Also included is 10 nourishing recipes and a copy of a whole week of exactly what I ate to lose weight.
Spending One On One Time With My Five Children – Vlog.
Hi lovely readers!
In this vlog I show you the butter cake that I love to make for the children.
I make the ‘Brown Gravy Stew’ from the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook.
I show you my ‘chore alarm.’
I unbox an order from Koorong bookstore and explain why I decided to get the children more meaningful gifts for Easter this year instead of just chocolate.
Lastly I take you on a mum and son date with almost 7 year old Arrow and share with you why I believe a good relationship with your children is so important.
Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight!
With each of my five full term pregnancies I gained 25-30 kgs! (55-66 lbs).
With my last pregnancy with Willow I gained just as much even though I was eating reasonably healthy foods. I didn’t gain much in the first and second trimesters but by the third trimester I really stacked on the kilos. I was really hungry and I let myself eat and eat without giving it much thought. I usually lost 5 kilograms by the time I came home for hospital (baby, placenta, fluid) and then a long road was before me as I slowly lost the weight I had gained.
But over the years I have learned some things about weight loss. Sometimes it was really hard. Sometimes I had great successes. Sometimes I couldn’t be bothered and was tired and emotional and gained a few kilos back. Sometimes I just ate too much because…well, I love food!
As I had these experiences I learned what worked. I observed other people who had too, been successful with weight loss. I took note and wrote a lot of information down.
I discovered dessert in a whole new way! I have now learned how to make all my old favorites in a nourishing way using whole food ingredients. As I lost weight I ate pancakes, carrot cake, choc chip cookies and brownies! Making desserts into healthier creations has helped keep me be happy, healthy and satisfied while the kilos came off.
Last year all I had learned about weight loss got written down…
…and became a book!!
And…I am very very excited. The moment I have been waiting for over a year for is here!
My brand new e-book is now online and available for you to download!!!
It is a step by step guide for your own postpartum weight loss journey! And anyone would benefit from this book, not just mothers.
If you are wanting to lose weight but you need a bit of cheering on. I will be your weight loss coach as you read the pages of this book you will be cheered and encouraged along the way!
I share the secrets of people who are successful with losing weight and keeping it off.
I share how to overcome problems people face and how not to regain weight.
Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight is not a diet plan but a book to give mothers some encouragement to get healthy and kick out some bad habits.
I also have included 10 of my own recipes which helped me have success in my postpartum weight loss. As well as a full weekly meal plan to help kick start your weight loss.
Click HERE to get my new e-book Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight
How I plan meals for my family of seven.
When there are seven hungry people in your house wanting to know what’s for tea in half an hour, replying with “I don’t know” would be a disaster!
That’s why I started meal planning. Meal planning reduces my stress massively. It reduces the amount of money we spend on food. It helps us to eat healthier. It helps our days to flow smoothly because the huge task of preparing every one a satisfying meal has been dealt with.
I used to do meal plans weekly. But since term 4 last year I have been trying something different and it’s working really well. I was finding that I wasn’t able to keep up with meal planning every single week and some weeks I wouldn’t get around to planning and would fall back to ‘winging it’. I find it stressful not knowing at least the day before what we are going to eat for the following days evening meal. When I have a meal plan I feel better prepared because I can just check and see what we are eating tomorrow before bed and get out any meat to defrost overnight.
My new and improved way of planning our meals involves sitting down with a pile of cookbooks and my laptop every school holidays and typing out the whole next terms worth of meals. I usually plan for the next 12 weeks so that I can still follow it during the school holidays while I’m planing the next 12 weeks.
I only plan the evening meal because we like to keep lunches, breakfast, snacks and sides very simple and repeat the same foods over and over.
For Breakfast depending on the season the children can choose eggs, porridge, muesli, yoghurt, smoothie, fruit, Vitabritz or toast. Sometimes we have other cereals for a treat but not all the time as they are too sugary and expensive.
For lunch we eat things like sandwiches, salads, soup, wraps, baked sweet potatoes or leftovers.
I always keep snacks like Saladas, rice crackers, cheese, yoghurt, nuts and fresh and dried fruit on hand for the children. I like to bake up large batches of biscuits too and try to always have some available in the house for them to eat but if life gets busy this doesn’t always happen. The home made biscuits that I usually have on rotation are chocolate chip, Anzacs, ginger bread and vanilla cockals.
To help make my meal planning simple I like to choose a theme with for each day of the week on the meal plan. For example Monday = lamb, Tuesday = chicken, Wednesday = vegetarian, Thursday = soup, Friday = pizza, Saturday = fish, Sunday = leftovers.
I also repeat the same meal 3-4 times or more throughout the 12 week meal plan. This helps to make cooking simple and to help me become confident with cooking a new recipe. Plus I’ve noticed children like to eat the same foods they like over and over again and are not keen on trying new recipes.
When choosing the meals I try to finds recipes that I think everyone will enjoy. Even the fussy ones.
I don’t include side dishes on my meal plan because I usually serve every meal with whatever vegetables are in season and were on special when I went shopping. We have vegetables with every meal either in a salad, roasted, fried or boiled. (or steamed, but my steamer is broken and I need a new one!) I serve many meals with rice, white or brown or with quinoa.
Savannah and Holly enjoyed flicking through cookbooks and pointing out meals that they would like to try this week while I was doing the plan.
I don’t usually get my 12 week meal plan done in one hit. I find I need to work on it in a few 30-60 minute sessions over a week or so. I can’t sit down and concentrate on something longer than this amount of time during the day when I have 5 children to care for who all need me to help them with something.
Above is my latest meal plan for the next 12 weeks. I always put a reference to myself of the cook book a recipe is from and the page number so I can find it quickly when I do my shopping list.
I really like Sarah Wilson’s cookbooks. Two of my favourites are Simplicious and her slow cooker one. I used her slow cooker cook book heaps this winter. Her vegetable korma is really delicious and was a huge hit with my family and friends at Savannah’s 5th birthday party. Click on the pictures below to purchase them for yourself and help me to earn a commission to support this blog.
Shopping is a huge part of meal preparation and I always go to the shops with a list. I have been using a master shopping list for a few years now. I simply typed up every grocery item I buy and store in my cupboards, fridge and freezers including household and toiletry items and printed out many copies. I then highlight the item that I’m out of with a highlighter texta. This saves me writing out a list from scratch before every grocery trip.
Do you plan your family’s meals? My mum likes to simply shop for similar ingredients every time and plans her meals based around what’s in her house and garden. She usually just decides what she’s cooking the day before.
It’s all about finding something that works for you. If my planning looks too elaborate then try something that suits you better. I believe that it’s a huge responsibility as mothers (and fathers) to provide our family with a healthy, filling meal everyday. It’s very important to eat meals together as a family with the TV and all electronic gadgets off. We don’t even allow our son to read when we are having a meal because I want him to engage in conversation with his family. A lot of joy and laughter can be shared at mealtimes. Luke, my husband, is especially good at making everyone laugh and we have a great time together while enjoying tasty food. These memories can bring a deep sense of comfort and belonging for our children and will last a lifetime.