Gratitude is more than just a #

Gratitude is more than just a #

What does the word gratitude mean to you? How does gratitude feel? Is it more than just an Instagram caption with a hashtag at the end? Is it more than a few lines in a journal once a month when you can remember? Is it just saying that you’re grateful and not really feeling it? Or are you someone who had mastered the important art of being a grateful person?

In my opinion gratitude is the most important thing you can practise and is the core of a happy life. It is a marathon, not a race, and needs to be worked on everyday. A life of gratitude, is a life of self fulfilment and personal happiness. Gratitude helps to create a balance between your body and your spirit in a way that they work together in harmony. If the mind is ungrateful the body is punished. Without gratitude we worry and we have doubts, and it is worry and stress that lead to sickness and illness. If we live a negative life of stress this can manifest into our bodies.

To live a life of true gratitude is one of my life goals. It is not hard to find things to be grateful for and is as simple as being grateful for the fact that you are alive today. Or for the fact that the sun was in the sky when you woke up this morning, or that it set at night. That you have good clean water to drink and food to eat. It sounds cliche but you can simple be grateful for today.

Lately I have found myself feeling like I am not grateful. It wasn’t that I was actually acting ungrateful or necessarily being an ungrateful person. It was just the fact that I was not being grateful for the things that I did have, and paying gratitude for them. I was thinking of the things that I didn’t have and focusing on the fact that I didn’t have them yet. I have so many things to be grateful for, and as soon as I stopped to think for even five seconds I realised that.

So the fact of finding things to be grateful for isn’t the difficulty, but the hard part is actually practising being grateful on a day to day basis.

In particular recently I had been focusing on my desire to have a third child, and the fact that this might take more time then what I would like in my ideal world. I had been so focused on that third child who doesn’t even exist, that I had forgotten to be grateful for the two healthy and happy children that I do have. To thank the universe, god or whoever for the things that I am grateful for. Isn’t that already a better place to live in, where I am grateful instead of full of worry and sadness.

So I had a realisation that this is something that I need to work on. I know so many people in my everyday life who need this same reminder. I see them acting negatively, and focusing on the difficult or challenging parts of their lives then all of the amazing bits in front of them. Perhaps you do this too? I’m not going to tell you how to be grateful and I’m not going to tell you the things that you can do to practice gratitude. I simply want to remind you to be grateful today, just as I have needed this reminder lately.

So… what are you grateful for today? Think about the, then think about them again tomorrow. I PROMISE you and your life will be happier for it.

Enjoy!

Note – my outfit in the photo above is from the gorgeous Bonnie and Harlo

Everything you need to know about the Bubs IMPROVED Australian Goat Milk Formulation

Everything you need to know about the Bubs IMPROVED Australian Goat Milk Formulation

Bubs Australia has a NEW and IMPROVED Goat Milk Formulation and couldn’t wait to tell you all about it.  We’ve been apart of the Bubs Australia ‘family’ for over two years now, and I have always been extremely honest in my reviews for this incredible Australian company.  In fact you may have seen my recent blog post Everything we love about Bubs Australia Toddler Goat Milk.

Bubs sell three stages of milk product.  Stage One is suitable from birth to six months, stage two is perfect for up to 12 months of age, and stage three from 12 months up to 36 months.  All of the stages of milk products are fantastic at naturally supporting gentle digestion, particularly for littles one with sensitive tummies.   Bubs Premium Australian Goat Milk formulation contains DHA (so important!) and ARA from plants for improved tastes.

So what’s makes the new formulation of Bubs even better? 

Bubs are known to continually strive to improve their products by always staying up to date with the latest industry best practices.  All three of their Goat Milk Stages now include MORE Omega 3 (DHA), Omega 6 (ARA), and Prebiotics (GOS).

They have also adopted a single step process, whereby the farm-fresh goat milk and other enriching ingredients are combined in an efficient and time-saving way.  This provides a better taste and enables the Formula to be delivered to their customers faster.

On top of these new improvements there are so many other reasons why I choose to give Chloe Bubs Australia Toddler Goat Milk.

  • Bubs is the only Goat Formula that’s made in Australia using Australian goat milk!
  • It is made with fresh goat’s milk.
  • They use only the best ingredients.
  • It is naturally easy for the body to break down.
  • It’s certified organic.

Bubs Australia don’t just provide exceptional quality Goat milk products, they have a whole range of organic products available, from baby formula to cereals, food pouches and rusks.  Ari and Chloe have tried them all and as a Mum I highly recommend them.

You can read more about my ‘love affair’ with Bubs Australia here…
BUBS AUSTRALIA SNACK RANGE
EVERYTHING WE LOVE ABOUT BUBS AUSTRALIA TODDLER GOAT MILK
TRAVELLING WITH KIDS FEATURING BUBS AUSTRALIA
THE FINAL FEED FEATURING BUBS AUSTRALIA

Bubs Australia products can be purchased from Coles, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths and online here.  For more information on the Bubs Australia range visit their website or Instagram.

As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert.  I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.  Thank you to Bubs Australia for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share one of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #BUBSPARTNER

How To Not Be A Dickhead Parent by Kate Forster

How To Not Be A Dickhead Parent by Kate Forster

I recently came across this article written by Kate Forster and I thought it was brilliant. She talks frankly about the dos and don’ts of parenting that she has learnt over the past 16 years. She uses a different language to what I personally do, lol, but I’d have to say I agree with 99% of her list.  Let’s raise kind, we’ll balanced, confident humans.  You can find the article here.  Words are by Kate, images are of Ari and I, when he was 4 months old, taken by the beautiful Nicola Holland Photography.

I have been thinking about parenting. My children are now adults. Well,  as close to as possible, with the youngest only 6 months away from being 18.

They’re both exceptional. Funny, smart, they work hard, they’re kind, they are strong and they have a strong sense of social justice. I am proud of my part in their upbringing and prouder of them managing to get over the shittiest parts of my parenting.

As I get older, I see what made a difference and what didn’t,  where I wasted energy and where I was right to remind them to push a little harder in their own life. This is also based on watching other kids and their families and the ones who have taken refuge in our house away from their dickhead parents. I have had several children here, so I get it.

I’ve had to try and reason with mothers who don’t understand why their child is suicidal because of their appalling parenting. I’ve had to go to court for another as their advocate. I’ve fostered one because the parent refused to stop drinking and kick the abusive boyfriend out. I’ve had 2am calls from a desperate kids who have made bad choices and need an adult to help. I have done pickups from parks at 4am for drunk teenage girls, I’ve pulled kids from fights. Told parents off for pushing so hard their kid was on the edge, ready to jump. I’ve sat with a kid and told him it wasn’t his fault his mum killed herself after he found her body. I have taught kids how to set boundaries with their fuck-wit parents. I have listened when my own kids tell me how I can do better.

So, here is my list for do’s and don’t in raising kids:

  1. Don’t be a Tiger Parent. Don’t demand they practise until they hate the thing they’re learning. Just because you didn’t get to learn the violin doesn’t mean they want to. They will hate it and you in equal parts in the future and hold it against you. Start saving for therapy now if you continue this.
  2. Don’t push them at school. Get them to pass and teach work ethic. My kid just passed her final year but focussed on her passions. She is now going to graduate with a double degree and is starting her Masters in what she loved since she was small.
  3. Don’t go away on holidays and leave them behind. They remember. This will come up in therapy. It’s called abandonment and it’s gonna bite you in the bum one day, hard. Real hard. Keep adding to the therapy fund if you keep doing this too often.
  4. Don’t lecture your kids about not drinking when you drink every night in front of them.
  5. Don’t tell your kids to not try drugs. They will. You can’t stop them. Educate them about safe choices instead.
  6. Tell them to have sex when they’re ready when they feel really okay with it, and not before. Give them the power, and they will make the best decision for them, based on their feelings and self-knowledge.
  7. Teach them to laugh at themselves more than they laugh at others.
  8. Teach them self-awareness. Really. Stop with the selfies so much kiddo.
  9. Don’t worry about the Grade 2 teacher. Ten years later and you won’t remember their name.
  10. Help your kid find out what they’re good at and build their interests and co-curricular activity around that.
  11. Ask them to try a food 10 times before they decide they hate it.
  12. Ask them to wait six months before they give up the instrument they are learning. If they still loathe it, then it’s gone. My son said he wanted to give up guitar. We waited the 6 months and now he’s studying it for his final year because he loves it so much.
  13. Being a kind person will get them further socially, than being smart.
  14. Tell them you enjoy parenting them, often and always. Don’t make them feel like shit for being born. That was your decision, not theirs.
  15. Don’t pay for them to go to a private school and then make them feel guilty about the fees. Again, that was your decision.
  16. Don’t tell them you need “grown up time.” That’s a shitty thing to say. Find grown up time. You’re a grown up.
  17. Answer every question as honestly as you can. Children remember the lies.
  18. Don’t live through them. Let them shine on their own terms.
  19. Work. Especially if you’re a woman. Show your children you are capable and able to earn your own money and that women contribute to the world also. If you aren’t working, then tell them you used to work, and will work again and explain your time at home with them is your job, so they get that women do things and do them well.
  20. Spending quantity time with them is more important than quality time. No such thing. They don’t remember the ‘special’ time. They just remember the time. The gaps of you not being there create anxiety and they turn on each other. Be present.
  21. Tell them you love them, even when you don’t like them.
  22. Saying no is good when it is going to protect them from themselves.
  23. Don’t fuck around with mental health. Remind them that there isn’t a problem in the world that can’t be solved and that everything passes. Today’s gossip will be replaced by something else at school tomorrow. Lie in bed with them all night if you’re worried. Stroke their hair, tell them stories about when they were little and how loved they are, tell them about when you were pregnant with them. Remind them they are wanted and loved and that they can and will survive what is happening.
  24. Ask them about pop culture and things you don’t get. Find out about their lives and what is in it. Don’t dismiss it because you don’t get it.  Learn their language, enter their world, and they will enjoy teaching you about it all.
  25. Laugh at yourself and often.
  26. Say sorry for when you are a shit parent. It matters to them. It also teaches them how to apologise to others.
  27. Don’t tell your kids they owe you because you feed and clothe them. You’re supposed to do that, you absolute idiot. You don’t get respect for doing the bare minimum!
  28. If your kid hates you, you caused that. Sorry, but you did. Sort it out, now!
  29. Don’t invalidate their feelings. To not have your feelings heard and recognised is a form of child abuse. If they are upset, acknowledge it first, then respond.

And that’s Katie Parenting Class 101.

All of this comes from my learnings, the children who have passed through my doors looking for help for their life issues, and their home life. These are the things that stick. Thank you for reading.

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*Disclaimer: At times this website contains posts where items and experiences have been sponsored, gifted or blog posts have been paid for in return for advertisement/promotion.  Where this applies it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the blog post. Natalie Sullivan and www.thissweetlofeofmine.blog only endorses brands/items that her family uses, loves and highly recommends. To read the full disclaimer see here

Seaside Sunset

Seaside Sunset

Earlier this year, just before Chloe turned One, we decided to update our family album with a photo session by Nicola Holland Photography.  Nicola is our family photographer and we have had more photo sessions with her then I can count… maternity, newborn, birthday parties… we always have a great time and the images that Nicola produces speak for themselves, time and time again.

For this particular shoot we wanted to keep it super relaxed, so decided that the location should be our local beach at Alexandra Headland.  The sunsets there are just gorgeous and we picked the perfect day for it!

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http://www.nicolahollandphotography.com.au  (If you are getting married check out her wedding packages!)


What we wore:

Mama Bear

Top – Sports Girl
Shorts – Forever New
Ari
Overalls – http://www.ltlppl.com.au
Chloe
Dress – Sprout from Myer
Headband –  http://www.lambandsparrow.com.au
Daddy
Chucked it on 5 minutes after we were meant to be at the beach!

*Disclaimer: At times this website contains posts where items and experiences have been sponsored, gifted or blog posts have been paid for in return for advertisement/promotion.  Where this applies it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the blog post. Natalie Sullivan and www.thissweetlofeofmine.blog only endorses brands/items that her family uses, loves and highly recommends. To read the full disclaimer see here

10 quick things to know about me!

10 quick things to know about me!

Here goes…

  1. I was born in the England and have three half brothers.
  2. I am scared of the dark, like can’t even put the bins out scared.
  3. I have always wanted to adopt.
  4. My grandmother was born in Malta, I was also baptised.
  5. I love planning parties especially children’s ones.
  6. I am an overly organised bossy boots.
  7. I have an obsession with travelling to as many countries in the world as I can.  I actually dislike going to the same country more then once.
  8. I try to exercise every day, it keeps me sane.
  9. I have a birthmark on my left hand.  My Mum told me that Mr Stalk bite me before he dropped me off!
  10. I became a vegetarian about 6 months ago and I love it!

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Image by – http://www.nicolahollandphotography.com.au

Little Miss Chatterbox

Little Miss Chatterbox

SO my Mum always told me that from the day I was born I never shut up… apparently I was some kind of nocturnal devil child who wouldn’t stop screaming from the moment she popped out. As a toddler I used to yell “Mummmmmmyyyyy” so loud that my voice used to reach some completely unnatural decible and I would literally loose it. In my first school report my teacher wrote “If only Natalie was a little more quiet she might be able to apply herself a little better.”

So being that I am a natural born chatterbox who has only a baby and a toddler to talk to all day, I do tend to go slightly insane some days.  So this blogs serves as an outlet for me to get everything off of my chest so that hopefully I can stop inundating my husband with every ” if, but, when, what, this, that, chitter, chatter, blah, blah” the moment he walks in the door.

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Also I have this thing called ‘confidence issues’ where by I basically feel like I can’t do anything on my own. I find it easy to just hide behind my husband and my children but as everyone knows it is important to have things of your own… so this is mine.  🙂

So so here I am.. pen to paper, finger tip to iPhone screen writing my very first blog post…

Whoever you are reading this I want you to know that I am so grateful that you are here. With love, Small-Signature-Nat