Courage over Comfort

Stepping out of your comfort zone is always hard to do and sometimes it's easier to tell yourself that you don't need to, things are fine just as they are and you're happy and safe without having to put yourself out there.

I recently had to again step out of my comfort zone and although I'm constantly pushing myself and others to step out of the “safe zone” to achieve goals, this time I really felt like I could possibly be out of my depth. I was asked to host my first fashion event, I was so excited and jumped at the opportunity. However, that was six months before the event and I took the “she’ll be right” approach. Funny how fast six months can go by!

I’m used to talking to people about my story, my life and my goals. I try to use my story to motivate and encourage, to spread kindness and support, I try to lift other people up when they are being pushed down and help in any way I can. I'm used to being in front of a camera and speaking to groups of people, I've been involved in live TV, radio shows and phone interviews where you often find yourself thinking on the run. I have never had to speak to a room full of 500 people before and I was terrified that I would ruin the event with a substandard performance.

My mind tried to talk me out of it, I made excuses up in my head as to why I couldn't do it, the naysayers voices were creeping in. I'd made the commitment though and I couldn't back out. Even if I broke my ankle I'd still have to get up there, crutches and all. But the thing is, I was actually really disappointed in myself for thinking these thoughts which I had kept at bay for quite some time now. This was something exciting and a direction I want to keep pursuing with my career. I knew that when I'd finished I would be so proud of myself and wonder what all the fuss was about.  My kids were telling me how proud they were of me before I'd even done it, they'd heard me practicing and practicing and knew how hard it was for me to do. It gave me the opportunity to show the kids that public speaking can be fun, as long as you are prepared, which is a good thing with all the talks, presentations and speeches that are becoming a regular thing for them at school.

I then decided to turn my mind around, I didn't want to be afraid, I didn't want this to be something scary, I wanted it to be something liberating and something that would motivate me to keep doing what I'm doing. I wanted my kids to watch me do something that I thought I couldn’t do, I wanted to show them it's okay and that pushing through fear is something they can do too.

And as expected from the start, I found myself up in front of 500 gorgeous fashion savvy people and I was privileged to have hosted an amazing night of fashion. I was so proud of myself and I had so much fun that I didn’t want to give the microphone back at the end of the night. Before the show my husband told me he was so proud that I didn’t back down, that no matter what happened if I fell, if I mucked my words up, if my dress came loose and I flashed my undies to 500 people, he was still so proud of me and that meant so much to me.

I can't wait to keep going, I can't wait to host my next event, I'm excited to learn and grow the art that is public speaking and hosting. It is definitely something I want to pursue further and gain experience in.  I'm so grateful that I was given the opportunity and pushed myself to get up there and achieve something I didn't think I would be able to do.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”

Love, 

           Rosie

Another Baby

Something that I've been thinking about so much lately is having another baby. Just to clarify, I can't physically have any more children and ironically, I would have to find a surrogate for myself to have another bub. Even though I know it's not physically possible, there is still that tingling feeling of desire and emotional pull that is still present. Don't get me wrong my life is a mad home of controlled chaos with four amazing children with four beautiful souls, who my husband and I truly adore (most of the time) okay (some of the time) 😝 The heart strings have been repeatedly tugged a lot lately. It started off being a fleeting thought when I'd get to hold my friend’s new bub or see their posts of their precious little bundles of toddler love. It has reached the point where it’s taking over my mind. My husband isn't much better either. We were at an event the other week together and a new baby was being passed around, we both looked at each other and he said to me “I want another one”. We have been told more than once that we are as clucky as each other. We know the reality is that if what happened didn’t happen, there would be a good chance that we wouldn’t fit into our beloved 8 seater Kia Grand Carnival and we would be forced to upgrade to a bus.

We also know how crazy adding a new bub into the mix would be and it was such a milestone when all our kids started school this year. We don’t have to lug a pram everywhere, don't have to take a bag of nappies and creams everywhere we go and life is getting more exciting as we get to leave the house more often and for longer. Our kids, armed with all their vastly different personalities, are growing faster than we would like. Our freedom as a couple and as a family is returning and being reinvented at the same time.

There is still that “what if?” and the guilt, on my part, that if we really did decide to extend our family we couldn't. Most of you reading this will probably think I've gone mad, “Why on earth would you want more children, don't you own a TV?!” (I get that a lot from people, but how do they think we kept the other kids occupied while we made the next baby?!?) 😝

I believe everything happens for a reason and you’re given certain hands in life because you are strong enough to handle them. When I first had my hysterectomy, it took me a while to come to terms with the fact I couldn't have another baby, it happened so quickly that I felt like my choice to have another baby was ripped away from me and it was hard to cope with.

Reflecting on that time I find it was a selfish way to look at things as having a hysterectomy saved my life, I wouldn't be here today if it didn't happen.  And how some women have the same choice taken away from them before they get a chance to start their family. I'm so grateful that I’m actually still here to watch my kids grow up and experience life with them. So, is it selfish to want another baby? Is it the fact I'm just grieving the fact my kids aren't little anymore? Maybe because I missed a big chunk of them being little during the up and down years of getting back on my feet? Maybe it’s the requests from my only boy for a little brother? Poor guy is absolutely out numbered. Or maybe that we've now moved onto the next chapter of our life as a family? Maybe it’s the fact they don't need me as much anymore? (well they still need me just in different ways, nobody can run and get a towel quite like me).

The last twelve years has just gone so fast and if it could slow down a little that would be great! It does make us treasure every single milestone even more now. I will just have to start babysitting for my friends a little more I think 🙄 and then give them back at the end of the day and have a peaceful night’s sleep!

 

The Cetaphil Experience 2017 - PHUKET

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to receive a phone call from my manager inviting me to attend the 2017 Cetaphil experience in Phuket Thailand last week!!

I was one of three people from Australia chosen to attend, joining other influencers from all across Asia. I couldn't have been more honored (and excited) to have been selected. I've been using Cetaphil since I was 16 years old as my daily cleanser and moisturiser and had just started my 12 year old on the same products and routine. 

The five day stay at the JW Marriott KhaoLak consisted of me actually getting on a plane (well several actually), attending workshops, learning all about skin and body health, meeting new people, filming and photo shoots.  To say it was an absolutely incredible experience is an understatement. I met some of the most wonderfully kind, talented and professional people that I could've been asked to work with. More specifically the Australian Cetaphil team Lochlan and Elya you were both amazing!! @cetaphilaustralia and the two other Australian bloggers were a big part of making the whole experience as incredible as it was. 

Corrin was the skin expert that brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the "Experience". We relentlessly bombarded her with a multitude of questions on a multitude of subjects and Corrin did not miss a beat in having an informative answer for them all. Make sure to keep an eye out on the Cetaphil Australia Instagram page for answers to other questions that we also received via social media!

As one of three influencers coming from Australia I was nervous and a little anxious to meet the other two girls Renee and Jules.  What would they be like? Could I relax? God please let them just be kind! Little did I know that I had so little to worry about as we would all connect so well, so quickly and form a great open and honest friendship. The dynamic of the whole trip could've been completely different and made for a long week with some different personalities.  I was envisioning worst case scenario being something akin to this years "The Bachelor" group.

Jules Coffey @newmumstheword a blogger and Mumma from Newcastle in New South Wales was who I met first. I'll tell you she's as gorgeous in real life as she is in her photos and has the beautiful soul and personality to match.  We clicked instantly and it was so nice to meet and work with someone so genuine and loving. 

I met Renee Enright @reneeenright next and the only word I can think to describe this Stylist and Mumma that even comes close to her is "panache and eloquence" (see I couldn't help but use two words). Renee oozes style and beauty and her no nonsense laid back personality is what caught my eye. Again, we clicked instantly and it was as if the three of us had known each other for years. We bonded over work, kids and life in general which was helped along nicely by a few daquires next to the pool. It was such a breath of fresh air to be in another country, working alongside such beautifully kind people. 

I'm still coming down from such an amazing week, something that I will treasure forever and hope to be able to experience again. The Cetaphil Experience 2017 definitely lived up to it's title, it was absolutely an "Experience" and one that I'm so grateful I was selected to be a part of. There is so much I cant wait to share with you all, so keep an eye out xx 

Love,

Rosie xx

 

 

 

 

 

Flying High

 

I'm not exactly sure where my fear of flying came from… maybe it was the constant binge watching of Air Crash Investigations when I was a teenager; then maybe not.  As I sit here writing this blog in Brisbane Airport, waiting to board my flight to Sydney, I wonder what I was so afraid of. Flying was so foreign to me and the first time I had to fly as an adult was for a modelling job in Melbourne. The flight was two hours and I was so scared to step foot in the airport let alone on the plane. My love and passion for my job (and my husband escorting me to the gate) had me sucking up my fear and getting on the plane. Flying has become part of my life now and although it still has me uneasy, there is still the potential risk of finding me screaming and running off the plane at the first sign that a flight attendant is concerned.

I used to listen and react to every single noise the plane made, I would look at the flight attendants all flight making sure they were still smiling and standing up. Not sitting down and holding on for dear life. I was always vigilantly watching for that sideways glance that they would give each other, that would signal to me that we are in the s*@t.

There were a few instances whilst in the air, where I thought the end was nigh and I apologise to  the poor people next to me who experienced my full force grip of their hands, listening to me claiming “I'm too young to die, I have four children” or something similar.. actually that would’ve been in my head, all they would have heard would have been my gasps. As I looked around the plane though there was no sign of distress and everyone was soundly sleeping, reading or watching movies through the plane jerking side to side, up and down; all apparently normal.

It was on a Virgin Australia flight from Brisbane to Melbourne that had me reassessing my fear. A very kind flight attendant saw me getting on the plane and must have seen my face and known he didn’t need to tell me where the 6 exits where, I was already well and truly on top of that as my eyes darted for the nearest one!  He made his way to me and my seat and starting chatting to me, asked me how I was feeling about flying and proceeded to explain the basic fundamentals of flying. He checked up on me throughout the flight and as stupid as I felt for being 'that person' he really helped me, not just this flight but my perspective on flying. He did this by giving me as much information as possible, everything from the testing regime that planes are put through, their service requirements, some facts and figures and just a general good old Aussie “she’ll be right”; again proving that "knowledge dispels fear".

On another flight, I was ending a long day at work, I was alone in my row on the last flight of the night.  The plane was nearly empty and the flight attendant could tell I was nervous as I usually am when flying at night. He came and sat with me, we had a great chat and he too checked in on me several times throughout the flight. Whatever the recruitment process is for Virgin Australia flight attendants, they are kicking goals in my eyes!

Then there was the time we flew through an actual storm.  This would test my new perspective. I was fortunate and eternally grateful that there was an off duty flight attendant still in uniform at the end of my row who seemingly filed her nails during the turbulence whilst I was about to sob my eyes out and start praying to whichever god would listen to my requests to be saved. She proceeded to assure me no storm in Australia was strong enough to bring down a plane. If that statement wasn’t true, she sure delivered that line with so much confidence that I couldn’t doubt her.  To this day, I have no idea if it is in fact true but I thank her ever so much for calming my nerves.  I believe in stepping out of your comfort zone and fate is obviously laughing its arse off at me as my next trip was booked for overseas in Bali; away from the safe storms of Australia.  Me being me, my mind instantly thought of the storm that would hit the plane the moment we left the safety of Australian air space and no doubt would bring the plane down... Alas, I survived that flight too and here I am flying once again.

I’m so very lucky I get to travel as much as I do. I have a huge overseas trip coming up this month, again pushing the comfort zone line and this will be the longest flight I've experienced.  So much travel whether to another country, or even interstate, can be a little fatiguing and have I mentioned “scary”; those small acts of kindness and understanding from the flight attendants (and other passengers) can really change someone's day, their long term perspective and all in all help someone overcome a fear. I only hope the Virgin Australia flight attendants endurance and patience are strong enough to quell my fears on my next 11 hour trip. Eleven hours with me, asking every question under the sun, needing their reassurance and maybe a champagne or two!

Love,

Rosie

Sick Week

My blog this week was put on the back burner after the week was filled with sick kiddies. We really can’t complain though, we’ve had a great 18 months of not even the slightest of sniffles. We were a little anxious when we learned that a big chunk of our youngest child’s class went down with a virus and our child was one of the only children left standing, I thought we were in the all clear. I think you can guess that I was WRONG and in obvious denial of the inevitable.

It started with our eight year old, who developed a fever that went on for six days; followed by our youngest with the same thing with a little tonsillitis thrown in; then the older two kids went down closer to the weekend much to their dismay as they calculated that they weren’t going to get the same amount of days off school! It's been a week full of clinginess, whinging, sniffles and grumpy children. That was also contagious as it resulted in a tired, whinging, grumpy (and worried) Mummy.

I used to get quite bad anxiety when the kids were younger and became ill. I would stay up all night religiously checking temperatures and giving cuddles, ice blocks, washers and movies at midnight just to get through the night. Now that the kids are older and they can tell me how they feel and handle a temperature a little better, my worry eases enough that I'm not hovering over them 24/7 and calling my husband at work every two seconds to ease my mind that we didn’t need to call an ambulance just yet.

As mother’s we all worry about our kids, especially when they are sick. I think it’s time to worry when my oldest is so sick she doesn't even have the energy to yell at me from her bedroom door; when the youngest doesn't complain about what's on her dinner plate; or when our eight year old misses her favourite show, Family Feud, because she can't get up out of bed.  I knew something was desperately wrong with my son when his hour for the computer came around on Saturday and he chose to spend it tucked up in bed instead. I think following your gut always helps and listening to that Mummy intuition when it comes to easing our minds and knowing when to step in and take the kids to the doctor or off to the hospital. Our week thankfully ended and the kids have now all turned the corner! Hopefully we’re all back on track for a fresh week!

Love,

Rosie

Bali - The Next Episode

Bali; Part Two takes Heidi and I to one of the most beautiful hotels Bali has to offer. We arrived at the Westin Hotel in Nusa Dua and it was insanely stunning. As one of the most exclusive hotels in Bali, it had so much to offer and we were treated like queens from the moment we stepped foot in the lobby. We received presents upon arrival and our room was nothing short of gorgeous. The first thing we did after we took to social media to do the obligatory and probably eye rolling “sorry, not sorry show off post”, was explore the grounds. The Westin had two pools, beachfront cabanas, a day spay, restaurants galore and had some of the friendliest and most welcoming team of staff I have ever encountered. They weren't afraid to joke around with us which only added to the warm and relaxed atmosphere.

Upon entering our room our guide was quick to tell us that everything in the mini bar was ours for free! FREE?!?! Heidi and I looked at each other in excitement and could only muster a thrilled response of “Seriously?! Wow that's amazing and so generous!” Upon opening the mini bar fridge we were met with two bottles of water and a hysterical tour guide laughing his ass off at us. It was so funny and so well played!

We were both scheduled for two shoots at the Westin and upon exploring the grounds watching Heidi get so excited with the location and the lighting and the possibilities was the best. Heidi and I worked together for the first time back in February on a very long two week, very challenging international shoot. We bonded instantly and just clicked. I fell in love with the shots Heidi produced, her work ethic and her absolutely amazing ability and talent. She's not only a photographer but she's chief editor of her own magazine that showcases the most gorgeous models, locations and fashion spreads. I knew from the moment I met Heidi she was something special and to get to work with her and travel with her has been an amazing honour and privilege. We've become quite close, especially after sharing one bed the whole trip and the fear of flying we both have, which made for an interesting flight over, (our hands nearly didn't make it) I feel we work together so well and know what the other is thinking before we've done it. Heidi is definitely someone I now consider a close friend and we both share an intense passion and respect for our industry.

We didn't have much downtime and when we did we would sleep, but we were treated to a spa treatment in the hotels exclusive heavenly day spa. The one hour massage was bliss and so relaxing which was just what we both needed.

Although we didn't venture out of the hotel for two days, we didn't really need to, the choice of food was amazing, the beach was perfect and the pools were absolute paradise. We were extremely honoured to have shot and stayed at the Westin Nusa Dua. Details of the hotel are below and I very highly recommend this insanely amazing hotel for anyone traveling to Bali.

I have also put Heidi’s details below too, for anyone wanting to shoot with this amazing girl. Heidi is located in Sydney 😊

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, BTDC lot N-3, Bali

Bali, 80363, Indonesia

Phone (62) (361) 771906

www.westinnusaduabali.com

Heidi Hannele Huttunen

Instagram - @heidi_Hannele

Website – www.heidihannele.com

Bali - The opening scene

Last week I was lucky enough to have my first overseas trip, yes that’s right I have never left our beautiful Australian shores. Not out of not wanting to, just more to the point that whilst most travelling seems to be done in your late teens and ALL of your twenties, I spent those years pregnant or with a baby firmly attached to my boob or my hip.  Having never been overseas before I was minus the golden (and primarily blue) ticket to freedom; my passport. In my typical Rosie form, it arrived the week before I left.

The trip was for work and I was grateful to be travelling with my phenomenally talented photographer and friend Heidi to shoot for some fantastic brands.

I am not a good flyer, in fact I'm terrible.  To the point that stranger’s hands have been grabbed during turbulence and impromptu counselling sessions have been received by the truly wonderful Virgin Australia crew.

When I was informed that Bali was the destination and that it was a six hour flight, I was nervous. The most I've ever accomplished was 2 hours and even that had me a little on edge. Although, now with my job I’ve become accustomed to flying alone and all the ins and outs that come with travel but flying to another country and navigating myself through a strange city was next level stuff.  Prior to my departure I was told numerous times that I would have a major culture shock and that I should be very careful traveling to Bali. So, me being me, my plan was a hasty exit from the airport, cab straight to the hotel and bunker down with 2 Minute Noodles and bottled water. Bali Belly could kiss the arse that it was seeking to torture. The horror stories I heard before I left had me seriously doubting the trip, to the point I found it hard to sleep the night before I left. It was reminiscent of when you’re pregnant and everyone has a horror story to tell, seemingly forgetting the presence of any miniscule amount of positivity involved. I was expecting to land and it to be so confronting that I would collapse in a hysterical mess, proceed from the arrivals gate, u-turn, and straight back into the departure lounge on the next plane home.

Upon exiting the airport safely though, Heidi and I were greeted with the Bali paparazzi and although it was a little overwhelming, everyone was very polite, respectful and had a big smile to go with every interaction. When we found our hotel transfer, we were led to our van and were shown first-hand how beautiful Bali actually was. The traffic and scooters were as accurately described.. insane. No different to some of the crazy behavior that you see in Brisbane at peak hour though. Although, having said that I can’t remember last time I saw a baby being held by the pillion passenger on a scooter. The scenery, the atmosphere and the people were beautiful.

Our first stop was Luna2 in Seminyak and I fell in love with the streets, the shops and the people. They were all so friendly and I really felt welcome and safe. The hotel was so different from what you would expect in Bali. The theme was completely original and based on the Monopoly board games.. No Old Kent Rd for us! We were privileged enough to be able to stay on Bond Street the rooms were filled with retro pop art mixed with a space theme that was really quite cool and different from the stereotypical Bali retreat. The hotel had a cinema, a rooftop bar with amazing views and a restaurant with delicious fresh food.  I must admit I was hesitant to shower and eat the food but the quality at Luna2 was so good we didn't have any doubts that we would be ok. Details of the hotel are below and I would highly recommend Luna2 if you're wanting something retro and cool with friendly staff and great service. 

Heidi and I couldn’t wait to explore, soak up and try to capture some of the Bali vibe. Shopping in Seminyak was a great experience, we loved every second and fell in love with the place and are already planning our next trip over.

More on our travels to come :)

Love,

Rosie

Luna2 Studio Hotel - www.luna2.com

jalan sarinande no 20
seminyak 80361
bali
indonesia
t +(62) 361 730 402
reservations@luna2.com

 

MUM GUILT

Having a baby and becoming a parent is one of the most amazing experiences in the world, everything you'd ever imagined, that wonderful moment when you get to hold your precious little bundle of joy in your arms for the first time. Promising to protect them, care for them and love them with all your heart. It's magical, it redefines your definition of love and is one of the best feelings in the world.

Then the reality tends to smack you square in the face after first smacking you square in your vagina.  There’s a good chance that the said vagina has been ripped open, your breasts are three times their size and they feel like puberty all over again on steroids, you're forever waking up sticky and saturated in breast milk, AND you still look four months pregnant four weeks later… like WTF???

 Fast forward a few years and you realise parenting is a lot different to pregnancy and the reality of parenthood can be completely overwhelming for some. Mum's guilt has set in and sometimes you feel like you are just failing at being a mother and you will no doubt raise a career criminal with a broken moral compass who will be a burden on society… and probably ill-mannered too. Well I would like to tell you that what you’re feeling is completely normal and it’s probable that most parents have felt it at some time.

 Let me share with you some of my “Mum Guilt” moments thus far;

 I now have all four kids in school, our youngest started prep this year.  Previously, the thought of throwing away a piece of artwork created by my first born at school, was the ultimate atrocity. Never would I dream of not keeping all those precious pictures.  The vision being that when she was older, we would gather the family around, look back on all the artwork, which would of course be beautifully presented in chronological order and we would reminisce; my daughter would be reminded of the exact days that she created each masterpiece. The guilt started to slip away a little with the second child, more with the third and is now critically endangered with our fourth.  Unfortunately, the 100th picture of the neighbour’s cat and the robot made from cereal boxes that required its own seatbelt in the car didn’t make the cut.  "Let’s just take pictures of them", my husband suggested; the problem being if Apple catches me unaware one more time, when I’m trying to capture an important memory and tells me that I need to purchase more storage, my phone probably won’t make the cut either. I admit, I do keep the sentimental and precious art works, the one’s that they really work hard on and really catch your eye but I really don't feel guilty about throwing away, let us call them “the countless drafts”. I've learnt to let it go and realise it doesn't mean I love them any less, it just means we’ll get a little longer before we need ANOTHER named box in the garage to dump them all in.

 As a stay at home mum for the first few children, I was able to attend all those milestone events from kindergarten graduations, Mother's Day morning teas, being on the school committees and attending assembly every Thursday just in case my child gets an award. Now, as a working mum, it's harder to attend all the events, be there to witness every child get their award and make four batches of brownies, one for each child,  for the cake stall that's in three hours that I remembered about 20 minutes ago!!!  At the start of the year, I found myself thanking the gods above that three out of four birthdays landed on school holidays!! Not that I don't enjoy baking, just baking and icing cupcakes at midnight doesn’t give me the same warm Betty Crocker feeling.

In the past I felt guilty about having even ten minutes to myself during the day (usually spent hiding in the toilet), for my own sanity I've learned its okay; not hiding in the toilet, taking a little timeout for me. I don't feel AS guilty about spending a day off alone and leaving that pile (or six) of washing and doing something for me to release the proverbial pressure valve a little. The guilt comes back slightly though when that ten minutes turns into half an hour, then an hour of reading blogs, squeezing in a run, checking in on Facebook and Instagram, taking a small nap and oh shit it's time to pick up the kids… Where did the day go?!?!

 At the end of the day, my kids are loved and I show them in more ways than keeping their artwork or baking them cupcakes. I'm present as a parent and when it comes to listening, talking and connecting with the kids, I think that's what's important. People can get so caught up in competing with each other as parents and trying to attain and maintain perfect parent status. Parenting can sometimes be the hardest, most relentless and evolving role one can take on and I think we all need to support each other whilst we fulfil this role. It’s becoming apparent that the “it takes a village to raise a child” philosophy is somewhat as endangered as my fourth child’s artwork and some parents are flying completely solo.

Any mum who have seen the 'Bad Mom's' movie should be able to relate, the pressure we put on ourselves can be destructive. Just know that being there for your kids is key.

And you know what, if the one year you get the chance to have all four kids in the one school photo and it doesn't work out because you forgot to fix your son’s bed hair, the middle child still has her pretend cranky face on from some morning crisis, the youngest child is too shy to even show her face in the photo and the oldest is just praying the photo is taken so they can get away from this embarrassment!!! At least it's a memorable photo that can hang proudly on the wall!!!!! The school offered to retake the photo at another time but we thought, you know what..... this is us!

Love, Rosie xx

 

 

Body after baby

This past week has been quite busy and exciting, I've been lucky enough to have had a few interviews for newspapers, online media and radio in relation to my new book, 'Help! I'm a Tween-Ager - A Girl’s Guide to Puberty'.  I always love being able to help others and it's exciting to get my book out there and hopefully help some Tweens who are navigating the rough waters that are puberty.

 One of the questions that always seems to come up in interviews is;

 "How do you keep fit and look like you do after having six babies?"

 This question makes me a little uncomfortable and I feel the need to write about it and get real for a few minutes.

 I've had six babies, five pregnancies, one of which was twins (not mine - for a friend) which is a little more unforgiving on the body.  There is no way I came out of that unscarred and perfect.  In addition to that I've also had over 20 surgical procedures due to complications after the birth of the twins and our last baby. I feel the question encourages an unwanted attitude towards weight gain during pregnancy and weight loss after baby. I want to let every single woman out there know that they are beautiful and amazing and deserve to be told exactly that, no matter what! I am not perfect nor do I claim to be and I want to get a few facts straight;

 FACT 1 -

During pregnancy you put on weight! You're growing life, it's going to happen, whether you put on a little or a lot doesn't define you as a person, nor does it need to be focused on by society.  Every pregnancy is different, every craving is different.  I craved crushed ice with our first baby, very cheap craving indeed.  I gained 35kg during my third pregnancy with our little girl, and you know what, those cinnamon doughnuts I had nearly every day were sooooo worth it! My last pregnancy I put on a grand total of 10kg and the other pregnancies were somewhere in between those two figures.

 FACT 2 -

Stretch marks are a given; hips, butt, boobs, stomach and thighs, they are unforgiving and appear everywhere. Some people take the achievers approach and say they’ve earned their “tiger stripes”, some take the humorous approach and call them their “roadmap to the best parts of their body” and others just accept it is what it is and they are there.  Regardless, every single one is a reminder of the miracle that are our bubs and a reminder of how lucky we are to have them.

 FACT 3-

Losing baby weight is not a race, a competition and nor should it be judged upon by society, partners, friends or family. There should be absolutely no expectation after a baby to change or get back to what you were before Bub. It’s upsetting to see how hard some women are on themselves due to the unrealistic views on baby bodies throughout the mainstream and social media.  I'm so bloody glad I've had my babies already because the pressure of looking good during and after birth is insane.

 As expected growing a baby is hard work and for anyone else to judge the way your body decides to do that is unacceptable.

 I would also like to point out that my kids are older, my oldest is nearly 12 and youngest is 5; the kids are at school now and I can invest a little bit more time to me and my body.  As most parents know, the first few years of having a Bub is all about routine, routine, routine and sometimes we just don’t fit in there for whatever reasons; we are tired, our motivation is low or we opt for a night on the couch smashing popcorn and chocolate with our partner catching up.

 I'm all about inspiring women to step out of their comfort zone and achieve their goals, I don't post my photos on Instagram because I want to show the world an unrealistic view of someone after having six kids. I want to support women and promote body positivity, if you want to achieve your goals, write them down, put one foot in front of the other and take the first step, little steps in the right direction is all it takes. Build a little bit of “you time” into the daily routine.

 I've worked hard to get my body to a place I'm relatively happy with; I do Pilates and I love boxing because as I’ve said more than once, “sometimes it’s just good to hit something!”.  I also try to walk 5km a day, sometimes it just has to be 2.5km in the morning after the kids are at school and 2.5km in the evening once the kids are asleep. That’s how I chose to spend my “me time” and if that's not how you want to spend yours, good on you! Go do something else that truly makes you happy because that's what's important. YOU'RE IMPORTANT and you are a priority too.  If you are happy, it flows through your home.

 I've had my fair share of body shaming, from people who I thought were friends and from throughout the media as well. It hurts because it is not an accurate representation of me.  It can come across that I am a superficial person who cares about looks over kindness and a good heart. I'm in an industry that I chose to be in, it also requires you to look the best you can. When accepting a job the first thing I do is notify the client of the fact that I have had six kids and if they put me in a bikini they may or may not need to put some money in the budget for editing too; 9 out of 10 times people have absolutely no issue with it. Why??? Because experience and work ethic hold more value and… for a print campaign that's going across the country the photos will be edited regardless. It's also amazing what lighting can do too, great photographers are masters of light manipulation. It's also my job to know what works for my body and what does not; angles, lighting and posing is a bit of a skill that takes practice and experience.

 I recently did a job for a swimwear company; we did a location shoot and then we were booked to do a studio shoot the next day.  Whilst on the location shoot, they told me they were sorry, but my stretchmarks and the scar on my stomach wasn't going to work for them in the studio shoot. To say I was hurt was an understatement, I've never gone into a job pretending to be perfect and I'm always up front and honest as I was with this job. All the insecurities that I've ever had with my body, the disrespect and negative comments from “friends” when I first started modelling rushed straight back into my head.  I shook it off, I had to or it could consume me.  My beautiful, positive circle of friends, the media and my Instagram followers don't support me because I'm perfect, no one follows my journey because they expect to see a flawless mother who's got it all together, and I wouldn't want that. I'm real, I have scars, I am a 32 year old woman and a mother of four who sometimes struggles to get through a day without losing her s*#t. One thing I am not though is delusional!  I am, however, setting out to achieve my goals and I’m putting one foot in front of the other to carve myself out a career (long or short remains to be seen) in an industry that can be tough, judgemental and sometimes has unrealistic expectations.

Nonetheless change is afoot and it is happening, so slowly that we might not be able to tell until we look back on how far we have come.  There are more models that are well embedded in their 30’s and beyond and that are Mums too; they are kicking absolute goals where previously they may have not been so successful.   Have a go at whatever it is that makes you feel alive, happy and fulfilled. At the end of our lives we will regret the things we didn’t do or didn’t try to do more than the things that probably weren’t such a good idea.  Don’t let age, whatever body shape and height you are, stretch marks and scars from babies or no babies be what stops you; if you want it, any negativity from “friends” or society shall only fuel your fire! Be kind and go forth, you can do it!

 Love,

 Rosie

 

 

What would you say to the 12 year old you?

Have you ever thought about this question? In all honesty, it had never crossed my mind at all until I started writing my new book, “Help! I'm a Tween-ager - A Girl’s Guide to Puberty”. I asked a lot of my friends to supply quotes and advice that they would give themselves at 12 years old.  After all we know ourselves better than anyone and now we have a lot more life experience to draw on thanks to being around for a lot more years than we probably care to acknowledge. I've placed these quotes and advice throughout the book in the hopes that these little gems will stick in the minds of our younger ones and help them as they navigate some rough waters ahead.

As much as I feel that what happened in your past, good or bad, is the foundation of who you are today; as much as I believe everything happens for a reason; if I had the chance to go back and give one piece of advice to myself it would be this:

“Don't worry about the haters because there are kind people everywhere, follow your instincts because they are usually right. People will inevitably come and go in your life, every one for a reason, to love you, to teach you or experience life with you. Love yourself enough to be surrounded by supportive friends and be that to them”.

Most of the replies that I received for the book were along the same lines:

“There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers and then there will be you, proving them wrong.”

“How haters treat you says more about them as a person”

“Surround yourself with kind positive people, your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive, keep it tight. Quality over quantity.. Always!”

“Don't listen or be accompany to nastiness, be yourself and don't change for anyone else”

I find it so interesting and valuable that these grown women all want to tell themselves the same thing. Mostly, that we felt so self-conscious and awkward about being ourselves and that we were so busy just wanting to be accepted, be liked and fit in.  Now as grown women, one of the first things we want to tell our younger selves is to have the confidence to be ourselves. Have the confidence to try new things and don’t allow yourself to be defined by how you are treated by people struggling with their own issues within themselves.

I want my kids to grow up being who they are, being kind, following their gut and not basing their decisions on self-consciousness or for the sake of fitting in and popularity. At the end of the day we are who we are and if we can help our kids embrace that and accept it at a younger age they will know that it’s more important to empower and embrace one another, support and hold each other up.

Knowledge Dispels Fear

Knowledge Dispels Fear

 When I began writing Help! I'm a Tween-ager I kept coming back to this powerful quote "Knowledge dispels fear".  I wrote this book to provide comfort to young girls, to give them a bit of a heads up about what to expect and as much information to help them deal with the scary time that is puberty.

 As a mum, I wanted to provide as much detail about issues as I could, without being too overwhelming. I realised the reason a lot of girls, including my own daughter, were asking so many questions was due to varying levels of anxiety about what's happening, or about to happen, to their bodies. It was the scary and unknown that was eating at them.

 Giving these girls the safety of a book to help them learn and deal with what's going on, was my way of helping them through this difficult time. By adding my own experiences and other women whom I grew up with, I wanted to help quell the fear, even just knowing what's around the corner can be really beneficial when it comes to this age group.

 Help! I'm a Tween-Ager, covers topics relevant to girls aged 9-14. The book does not contain topics like sex and drugs which, although our kids are learning about earlier in the schoolyard and on the internet, seemed to overwhelming and not a necessity at this age. After talking to many mum's in regards to this, I found a lot of them were struggling to find a book, suitable for Tweens that didn't contain this unwanted content. I felt the same, girls are hitting puberty much early and although it's all relevant I didn't want my 11 year old learning about the effects of drugs and sex. What's happening to them, their emotions and bodies is enough for them to deal with, I felt adding any additional information would not be beneficial at this age and my reasearch has showed this was the case.

 I feel it's important to give our girls something to help guide them. My book is a conversation starter between parent and child, however, the book is written for a tween to read themselves. Parents can rest assured that they are giving their child a safe and informative book that is age and information appropriate. Just enough to hopefully help dispel the fears of growing up as a tween in this day and age.

 Love,

            Rosie

Happy Birthday Nanna!

This weekend my Nanna is turning 90 years young!! My nanna is one of the most inspiring women in my life and I have learnt so much from her. We've always been close and between my three other siblings and three cousins, there were always fights as kids as to who's turn it was to have a sleepover at Nanna's house.

I believe my sense of family and the importance of family stemmed from the relationship we had. Growing up, nearly every single Sunday afternoon, would be dinner at my Nanna's. Everyone was there; my two parents, my three siblings, my two Aunties, my two Uncles and my three cousins who were all around the same age.

The memories of the adults playing cards outside on the deck drinking wine while us kids had endless movies and snacks inside... usually from Nanna's special chocolate drawer in the fridge which was always full of all our favourites. Summers were spent by the pool having competitions on who could swim the fastest. The kids would then all gather and walk to the local 7-11 to get a Slurpee each, thanks to Nanna of course! These times were some of the most fun times of my childhood.

On sleepovers with my sister and my cousin Melanie, Nanna would get the three of us in bed and share stories of our parents when they were kids. How they hated each other, fought all the time and the mischief they got upto would always end up in us laughing hysterically together. These are memories we all treasure.

As we all grew up and a lot of us moved away, the Sunday dinners came few and far between and I know it was a big hole in everyone's hearts when this realisation was made. When I became pregnant with my first baby, my Nanna was the one who told me to wear my spanks after the birth and to make sure I drank a glass of Guinness a week for my milk supply. Our daughter was my Nanna's first great-grandchild and her middle name is named after her, an incredible woman who I know my kids will look up to!  I remember we were at a family get together and our daughter was about three months old, she was crying and wasn't really settling. My Nanna took her to the back deck and I came out five minutes later, seeing her swaying Ava side to side singing"diddle, diddle dumpling my son John". Ava was fast asleep and that song forever became something so special and a moment I will always remember. Also, our "go to" calming song!

Twelve years later and my Nanna is still working every day, even more amazing and now has five great-grand daughters and five great-grandsons.  Her birthday will be celebrated with everyone on Sunday, sharing memories and being together.... and taking turns raiding the special chocolate drawer!

Help! I'm a Tween-Ager - A Girl's Guide to Puberty

This week I was lucky enough to release my first solo book.

 "Help! I'm a Tween-Ager - a girls guide to puberty"

This book has been a thought in my head for the past three years and I finally put pen to paper eight months ago. It's been such a rewarding and inspiring few months, researching compiling and talking with Tween girls about their lives, their questions and the things they want to know.

Creating a new book is something that I love, it's exciting and being part of the entire process from start to finish is something incredible. The book started out as I have a daughter fast approaching 12 years old, who was bombarding me with so many questions relating to puberty. I'm also very fortunate and grateful to have a large loyal Instagram following a lot of which, are young girls. I receive so many private messages from these girls asking questions and advice from me. I take that responsibility extremely seriously, talking to them and offering advice as I would do with my own daughter. I want to give the right answers and the right advice. Having vulnerable girls trust you with so much means you need to act vigilant and factual, try to get the life experiences and the messages of a parent across without sounding too much like one!  I also found humour was a great way to put a spin on the overwhelming topics these girls were asking about.

During the first month of research I realised there wasn't many books on puberty aimed at 9-13 year olds. I'd spoken to many mum's who also had the same concerns. I didn't want my 11 year old reading about drugs, alcohol and sex just yet.  I wanted an age appropriate book that wasn't overwhelming, was fun and light hearted to help with the emotional and overwhelming issues that come with puberty.

And so "Help! I'm a Tween-Ager, A Girl's Guide to puberty" was created. The book explains what happens during puberty in age appropriate language and content. Throughout the book I reflect back to my experiences as I wanted it to be relatable. It covers topics like boobs, weight, exercise,  periods and those dreaded pimples. There is also chapters on social media, friendships and the schoolyard, which I found was so important when talking to young girls. The fun facts throughout the book give an interesting side, whilst the inspirational quotes that I love and live by, give a personal touch that I hope will inspire and motivate.  Fact is usually funnier than fiction so, I compiled the embarrassing stories that happened to my friends and I during our time dealing with puberty.

Overall the book is a safe haven for girls and parents can trust that the information provided is age appropriate and helps open the topic for both adult and child and hopefully keep the lines of communication open.

"Help! I'm a Tween-Ager - A Girl's Guide to Puberty" Is available on my website www.rosieluik.com

 Love, Rosie xx

 

MBFW ❤️

This week I had the amazing opportunity to attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney with my personal stylist Yasmin Afoa.

Yasmin and I met through an emergency introduction by my management, Adrian from Believe Advertising. I flew into Sydney for a last minute red carpet event to be met with the amazingly talented Yasmin. Yasmin is a personal stylist for Westfield Bondi Junction, as well as head stylist for many highly successful styling companies. Yasmin's love of the industry is apparent when you meet her and her genuine love of the job shines through in the first few seconds of working with her. The way she holds herself and talks has you hanging off every word and saying "Yes I'm in! I'll wear it, I trust you!", before you've even blinked. 

We had about forty minutes to style my complete look before I was off to hair and makeup. I'm not the best at styling an outfit at all and if I'm not working, PJ's are my go to choice. I let Yasmin take the reins and she was unbelievable. I walked down the red carpet completely out of my comfort zone and it was absolutely incredible. Since then she's been the person I've trusted with my fashion decisions, when I'm not in my PJ's. 

This week we attended fashion week together, days full of fashion, styling and networking. What more could you ask for? The experience was something I'll always be thankful for and has definitely been a highlight leaving me thirsty for more!

A huge part of attending fashion week, is choosing what to wear! When it came to choosing my outfit I was completely overwhelmed, I didn't want to be over the top and wanted my style to shine through. Scrolling through Instagram to get ideas for my look I was drawn to vinyl pants and band tees, comfort yet effortless style. I love going from one style to another, a different look than I'm used to but Yasmin made it me..... with a POP!

To say I'm looking forward to next year is an understatement! My goal has always been to be on the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, front row or on the runway, the atmosphere of just being there is worthy of a years wait. 

Yasmin's Details are below

Insta- @yasminafoa

Website- www.yasminastyle.com

Mobile - 0416 043 045

Mother's Day

Mother's Day to me is such a special day, it's a day dedicated to one of the most inspirational people in my life, my mum and not to mention my Grandma and my Nanna who are two very amazing women also.

When I was younger, Mother's Day meant buying mum the latest pair of pajamas and telling her how much we all loved her with breakfast in bed and hugs and kisses. Today though, after becoming a mother myself, it means so much more to me. My mother is an amazing woman and after raising four children herself, is a huge inspiration when it comes to raising my four.

Of course I still buy her the traditional yearly pair of pjs but, there is also an underlying meaning to them now, an unspoken "tip of the hat" to someone who gave me and my brothers and sister her everything to make sure we had everything we needed. To someone who was there for me whenever I needed to talk or chat and for someone who still is there whenever I need her to be. If I could be half the mother to my kids that my mum was to me, I will know I've done a fantastic job in raising my kids,

My kids truly are my world and mean so much to me, watching them grow and become individual people amazes me everyday; guiding them and listening to them in every way possible is something I treasure. They are all such different kids, however, still so similar and I feel like I relate to them in so many ways.

My favourite part about Mother's Day is receiving the hand made gifts and cards that they make at school and the effort they put into making them, seeing their face light up when they see me gush over their handmade things is priceless. I may not ever use any of the items like, the usual key chain that only lasts a day before beads are scattered all over my kitchen, or the hand made mug that you can't use because if it gets wet it will fall apart, or my favourite, the hand made T-shirt that you can never wear because you can't wash it. None of that matters because it came from their hearts and means as much to them as it does to me.

Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers out there, remember you're loved and treasured, are a big part of so many lives and the whole world to the special little people who call you Mummy.

Love, Rosie

HARRY STYLES TICKETS

As a grown 32 year old, very happily married, mother of four. I really should feel embarrassed about the fact that I will be sitting at my computer at 5pm this afternoon, competing in a hunger games race against 12-17 year old's, for the tickets to see Harry Styles perform live on his first solo tour!

Yes I know I can see your eyes rolling now!! But, it's true, I'm in love with Harry and his new music and will do whatever it takes to get tickets to his show. I've lined up my team of eight others to help with my chances. I will have an instant group chat set up and the first person to get through to the site and successfully book tickets will have partial ownership of my soul! 

I requested help from these eight amazing people, In order to help they had to register for an account and to be available between 4:50 and 5:10 to watch the countdown and pounce. (His UK tickets sold out in under one minute) I was met with various responses, three people had no idea who Harry Styles was until I explained his 1D past..

"Ohhhh that guy on the mugs you have in your cupboard, yeah sure"

But mostly I was met with a laughing face emoji, followed by "oh wait, of course you're serious".

Yes, yes I am deadly serious and would most probably sell my husband to the highest bidder to get access to Mr Styles!

If you have followed my journey you would know how much One Direction means to me and how much these tickets mean. Yes I'm the subject of laughs every Christmas with the extended family, when my secret Santa present is a new 1D mug or T-Shirt (which I secretly wear to bed) or a pair of PJ's from the kids for Mother's Day, which come from the kids section in Target because, grown women don't tend to wear Harry Styles head on their nightie to bed. I own all their books and albums but my husband stopped me from putting the bedspread on the bed, not because he was crushing my dream of sleeping with Harry, but because you can't get a One Direction king bed cover.. He did suggest sewing two doubles together knowing that was a safe call as sewing and I are not fond of one another.

So in reality I'll be a sobbing mess for the next week if I don't get these tickets, but I will be eternally grateful that I have the most amazing supportive friends who dropped everything to help me........ and I'll just end up being one of those crazed fans sneaking into the venue in a bin 😝

My tips for talking to kids about frightening issues

With all the scary things that have been happening in the news lately, I've had a few mums ask me how I handle talking to the kids about certain world issues and answering their questions.

Our four kids range from 5 to 11 and a half, so the way we explain things to each child is completely different. Our 7 year-old will cry at the drop of a hat and is very sensitive; Our 9 year-old gets scared really easily; Our 5 year-old doesn't really understand that much and tends to react in the same way as the others are reacting, while our eldest is likely to ask a lot of questions and is very open to talking.


It's actually quite funny seeing how they all react so differently to potentially frightening situations. Recently my husband cut his finger open while cutting down a tree in our back yard. He came through the back door with his hand elevated, covered in blood.

Our 7 year-old instantly burst into tears because she hates people being hurt.

Our 9 year-old was terrified his Dad was going to die and kept asking for reassurances that he wasn't going to expire there and then on the lino.

Interestingly, our 5 year-old took the scientific approach and wanted to examine the damage so she could see what was inside Dad's finger.

And our 11 year-old, once she'd gotten all the facts on what happened, proceeded to have a shower. Then when we asked her to hurry up, as we needed to get Dad to Emergency, she replied  "I'm going as fast as I can, cleansing is important you know!"

At least they keep us entertained.

When it comes to asking questions about world issues though, my first reaction is wanting to shelter them from it all. I've learnt though, that as they get older they do become more curious and it's important to feed them facts, without overloading them; I find with the younger ones that keeping it short is key.

Using age-appropriate language is essential too. I'm not going to go ahead and tell them that America and North Korea are planning to try and kill each other with these things called nuclear weapons and God help us all! Or that during our recent floods when our backyard was slowly filling with water, that we may need to hijack a boat in order to get out and get food supplies.

Making them feel safe and never dismissing their fears, no matter how unfounded they seem to us, is hugely important. And by staying calm and not over-reacting in front of them, you help them to react accordingly too.

If you don't know the answer to a question, like me every single night when my 9 year-old needs help with his Math homework, don't pretend or make up an answer. Make it a point to inform yourself and give them the right facts and information.

It's also important to empower children.  My kids have a lot of empathy for others and reach out to help people when they see something horrible has happened to them. Allow them to help and suggest things they can do to make a difference, for example by donating clothes, toys and food to flood or bushfire victims. Encourage them to have compassion.

At the end of the day, as a parent, you know your own kids better than anyone and how they react in certain situations. It's important to guide them, answer their questions frankly with age appropriate answers and strive to make them feel safe and comfortable.

Love, Rosie

Parenting Secret #1 - Our adventures in our Kia Grand Carnival

I'm often asked by people, what's your secret to motherhood, what's your secret to raising four kids and keeping sane. To be honest, I don't really know. I like routine and I try to maintain patience which is extremely key. Especially when four, very demanding souls are talking to you all at once and expect your undivided attention. Or the mornings before school when you're using one hand to help brush the youngest child’s teeth, while the other hand is brushing hair, you're talking to the third child about homework while the fourth is getting “loud and passionate” at you to put the tomato between the ham and the cheese so the bread doesn't go soggy in the lunchbox... breathe... just breathe.  

It then hit me when I was walking the kids to the car, four backpacks in hand, reaching for my keys to press the magic button which opens my van’s sliding doors automatically, no extra hands required. The kids get in and out no hassle and the boot opens for me with another press of a button so I can throw four bags in the back without breaking my stride.

One of my secrets is my Kia Grand Carnival van!!

It occurred to me that my husband and I owe a lot of our sanity to this amazing vehicle. Not only does it have automatic doors, but it has up to eight seats!!! That means, after we take the middle seat out, the kids can walk up the center like a true bus and each child has their own corner of the car. No touching each other, no fighting, no infiltrating each other’s precious personal space!! 

At first I wasn't open to the idea of changing from a 4WD to a van.  I grew up with one and it was always considered so damn uncool. When we were pregnant with our fourth child though we had no choice but to upgrade the car.  We spent hours, if not weeks, researching, test driving and I tried desperately to convince myself and my husband that a 7 seater 4WD would be great.  In the end I had to face the reality that there was just zero space and you can’t tell me that your knees up around your ears in the back constitutes an extra two seats… and that usually came at the expense of much needed boot space.  When we came across the Kia Grand Carnival, it really was a no brainer.  I only agreed at first though because it had electric doors! Then it came time to upgrade a couple of years ago and we didn’t hesitate in getting the new model, we are 5 years into our relationship with Kia and we are still madly in love.

We spend a lot of our life in the car; if it's not school drop offs, school pickups, it's the sports and after school activities, visiting friends and family or a last minute road trip interstate for work... And those long road trips are bliss, well inside the car anyway. The only thing the car doesn't have is the privacy wall between the front two seats and the kids. Note to Kia, please consider this!! Sometimes I just want to listen to Harry Styles while I’m driving, belting out his tunes at the top of my lungs without having my kids yelling at me to turn it down and to let go of my dreams of a duet with Harry! Ouch!

Overall, I would say that even though it takes us 20 minutes to get from the front door to the car, or 20 minutes to get from the car to the front door (someone always forgets at least one shoe), it takes very little time to settle in and have a relaxing drive.  I would recommend the Kia Grand Carnival if you are looking for extra seats and some extra space, even if you have a couple of kids, the extra seats are so convenient for play dates and weekend sports.

Now that I’m a little older it seriously is a cool car… “ridiculously practical” equals cool doesn’t it?!?!. 

Love, Rosie

Happy Easter

Easter in the Luik Home is usually an organised chaotic event that was much easier to orchestrate when the kids were a little younger. The magic of putting out the Easter baskets at night, a letter for the Easter Bunny and a carrot for him to chomp on from each of the kids (which I will admit is easier to digest than four times the eight reindeer carrots we have to leave every Christmas!) has all slightly diminished over the years.

It has been years since our eleven year old first questioned the existence of the famous bunny who lives on the moon claiming, "I'm not silly, no bunny can make it from the moon and back in a night" and "don't you think it's funny that those bunny feet look like dad's work boots... just saying". Then the fights between them all about who ate who's chocolate. "You ate mine, now I'm going to eat yours".  The reality was that my husband and I were the guilty ones, sneaking a quick chocolate fix when the kids were asleep. Apparently the younger ones do actually take notice of how many eggs are in their basket.

When we had one child we used to get carried away and buy an overload of chocolate, but now that we have four kids, even I get a bit sick thinking about the amount of chocolate that could potentially be consumed. So I decided every Easter, the Easter Bunny would bring one big chocolate egg each, a pair of winter PJ's, a pair of slippers and a small toy. Fun and practical! Go me!

Then we would have an Easter egg hunt in the back yard.

This started off being quite the challenge when the older two would get more eggs than the younger two.  Even if they shared, it's not the same because they didn't find the eggs themselves, queue the sobbing and wailing for a good half an hour before we would repeat the egg hunt just for the youngest child; constant damage control! 

My husband and I settled the drama the following year by colour coordinating the Easter eggs for each child.  How convenient that Cadbury actually have four different colours of Easter eggs in their multi packs! With the eggs in place, each child is informed of their colour that they need to find and off they go! No fights, and they all end up helping each other! For ten precious minutes they are all best friends and the Easter bunny has brought us all together to happily indulge in the precious moment and the meaning of family and love, when, it all too quickly ends and they are back at each other, with;

"My eggs are bigger than yours"

"You got one more egg than me" 

"No I didn't you ate mine!!" 

And the darling eleven year old... 

"Just stop fighting, it's just rabbit poo anyway, but I'm happy to eat it all for you just so you don't get sick" 

Queue the wailing for another half an hour. 

Happy Easter!! 

Love, Rosie

My very first massage!

On Monday I was lucky enough to have my very first massage. Yes that's right, I've never in my 32 years had a massage! I've been called crazy by many friends who can't live without them, most of them using a massage as their treat for 'me time'. I don't really know why I've never had one; the thought of lying still for an hour while I have a billion other things I could be doing, doesn't really appeal to me, same as Yoga! I find myself thinking of my grocery list over perfecting my downward dog 😬 Going to a spa, isn't high on my list either, where you're surrounded by other massage clients. Then when the massage is finished you have to walk out and drive yourself home, which undoes the relaxation. Although, my husband insists that it's just my driving style...

So when I was approached by Blys Massage, a new company starting in Brisbane, who offer a mobile massage service to your home, I was a little more open to it. I went with a full body massage which is valued at $99 and for someone who's never experienced this before, my masseuse was awesome! She explained everything she was doing and talked me through the whole thing. The booking process was so easy too and all done online, I could also choose if I wanted a male or female masseuse. 

I think the best part was choosing the music, I thought a typical massage would have relaxation music, rainforests and chirping birds that would surely put me to sleep, only for me to be woken to the sound of my own snoring and possibly a small puddle of drool from the corner of my mouth! So, when I was asked what type of music I would like, I looked at the girl confused. Every part of my being instinctively wanted to blurt out 'One Direction please!' However, even though she was going to be touching my entire body, we weren't good enough friends just yet for me to admit my love of the boy band. She did give me a wide variety of music options though and I ended up settling on 80's and 90's.  My husband later looked at me like I was insane, as he just couldn't comprehend relaxing to the dulcet tones of Jimmy Barnes screaming out the tunes of Cold Chisel or Ya Kid K telling me to Pump up the Jam. He's defiantly a ocean and a rainforest kind of guy! 

It was actually such a great experience, I was relaxed enough but didn't fall asleep and the music really made it so much more fun. I felt amazing afterwards and will definitely book again, when I'm in need of some mummy downtime!  Next time, now that I can request the same masseuse and we're friends now, I might go with early 2000 hits or make my own One Direction playlist, as a gift to my masseuse. She can thank me later 😝

Love,Rosie

For more info contact www.getblys.com.au