In less than 3 months I am getting married. Eeeeeeek! Cant believe how fast the last 12 months have crept up and I am wondering if maybe we should have pushed it back a bit further. But no, the date is confirmed, the flights are booked and the invitations out. No cold feet now and to top it off we decided on a destination wedding.
Why a destination wedding?
Lots of people have asked us this question and to be fair I try to come up with legitimate reasons besides well because we wanted too… LOL First reason no one was of course I have been dreaming of visiting the Cook Islands for years due to its unspoilt beaches and Polynesian culture. Secondly we wanted to also incorporate some culture into the wedding as Nathan has New Zealand Maori heritage. There were other factors like feeling a bit old to get married (already got the kids and mortgage right?) and just wanting to do something different. So after we got engaged in Tasmania last year we started the planning with the roll out of Destination Wedding Invitations. Now it brings me a lot of joy to support small businesses as I understand how hard it is pursue and create a business around your passion so I wanted to share what we did in part of the Destination Save the Date plans.
Here are my Beach Destination Wedding Invitation Recommendations
- Photography: Its always a bit of fun to get those engagement photos done. The first thing we did was booked a local photographer to meet us at the beach to take some photos which we could use in our Save the Date Cards. My local Brisbane recommendation is Kerrin Smith Photography. Check out her portfolio on her website.
- Website: If you are having a destination wedding it is also recommended to do a little website with all the information about it too. Weebly.com is a great platform to get your Wedding website up and running really fast, free and easy. Its easy when you have some great photos to add to it.
- Save the Date Cards: I Loved the cards that Weddingpaperdivas put together for us from the States. This was an all online self service where you picked the template, uploaded the pics, changed the text and had it approved by the graphic designer. The print and packaging was very good quality except the international postage was quite expensive. At a minimum you need to send out the Save the Date card twelve months in advance!
- Wedding Invitations: So for the invites I looked locally to get them done and found Urban Weddings at a Bridal expo. We looked at all the traditional beachy themed invites and settled on a custom Passport! the Passport has proven to be a hit and fun to receive which is what it is all about when being invited to a destination wedding.
Enjoy the pictures! And I will keep you updated on the plans.
2015 and already it feels like a very good year. For once I have had no need to read through magazines and newspapers of lofty predictions of what they foresee of your average Aries girl. As I already know it will be a good year. This year routines are changing as the girls start school, we are learning new things like the piano, my work online continues to open up new opportunities and I am getting married. Unfortunately we are starting to grow out of our little blank canvas house. My office had a great spring clean this week to freshen up for the new year but our bedrooms are starting to feel small. The bunk bed I bought to make room in the girls room now just causes more daily arguments as the top bed is now abandoned and no one wants to sleep there. Another year older and wiser and ready to embark on some new adventures. Already I am booked to go to Bali, California, Cook Islands and UK this year. Brilliant. This year I am also getting back to basics with blogging. Blogging for fun and not to be all too stressed on topics, niche marketing, keyword analysis and traffic. After getting stuck in paralysis of analysis of what niche am I in? Making money online? I am not a fashion, pet, food, wedding,,,,, blog. I think I am a “Balanced Life” Blog.
Do you have a balanced life?
Here are the 5 F’s I follow to achieve a balanced life.
This year in addition to writing goals for each, I am going to check in with each of these every week to make sure it is a good balance and one not being neglected over another I pursue one more strongly.
Happy New Year! And see you here soon,
It is the holidays and as a busy mum it is a great time to be home with the kids. It is also a good opportunity to pause and reflect. Are you a happy mim? If yes, great! If not, read some special tips below.
Look at your kids
Well, they are a blessing. Shopping for them or moving around with them is a blessing. Don’t turn it into a curse by not recognizing it.
Make a diary
Well, making a note of special or funny things they say will make you happy even years after it actually happened. So, make a note of it. If you do not have a dairy, place an order for it today. You can buy it online at Overstock.com too.
Yes, every mum loves it but some avoid it because it is difficult to carry a camera or camcorder everywhere. But do you need a professional device to click sweet memories? Not really. You can click their pictures, shoot a video from your smartphone too. However, if you do not have a good quality smartphone, buy a new one online. There are a number of coupons and promo codes that can get you lucrative deals and offers on your purchases. So, make the most of it.
Rock them to sleep
As a mother, you have done it when they were small. However, even as grown-ups, every child feels special when their mum makes an extra effort to put them to sleep. So, don’t miss that opportunity.
Kids love it and you know it too. So, spend quality time with them by watching kid’s movies or playing a board game with them. If you can, accompany them to the park and be with them while they are running around.
Laugh and cry with them
It is an amazing feeling to copy them. So, laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. However, do it occasionally. Let that feeling stay alive.
You cannot gift them everything they love. So, know what they like and accordingly give those gifts. Costly gift items can be purchased from Overstock.com because yo
u can get amazing deals and discounts by using Overstock.com coupons that can get you best bargains on your purchases. Apart from the monetary transactions, it is important to give them love.
That is the best gift a mom can give her children.
Whisper when they shout
Adding to the noise, you are not helping him/her calm down. So, don’t should when they are shouting. Instead, whisper your responses. This will definitely help the volume drop.
Do things you like
Running behind your kids is one of the most important activities moms do. However, revise your ‘to-do’ list and include some interesting activities in it. Include activities like painting, gardening, reading novels, etc. This will act as a stress buster. If you are planning to buy some novels or movie DVDs, check for them online. Purchasing more than two items, you should look for promotion codes and discount coupons.
What are you tips to be a Happy Mum?
Happy Mothers Day! Today I would love to welcome to Jax Blunt from the UK to share a blog post with you in celebration of the International Blog Swap Day. Without further ado here is her post:-
I had this wonderful post all lined up for International Blog Swap day, where I was knowledgeable about blogging, warm and witty, charming and all the rest.
And then I woke up after another night where my two year old kept me up into the early hours, all blocked up with a stinking cold. And I had to rush to do the shopping so that we could have lunch things in before my eldest daughter and Tim went off in the car for yet another swimming gala (cross your fingers for her, she’s doing her first 400 IM today.) And there was post to do and children to feed and change and clothe, and change again, and chop strawberries for, and clean the chocolate off…
There’s not a great deal of room in my days at the moment for me to hand craft warm and witty blog posts 😉
But I did want to talk about what blogging means to me. My blog is older than three of my children. It’s been with me through the good times, and some pretty awful moments too. It’s where I pour out my hopes and fears, it’s where I share those little parenting moments every week, building an archive of mini triumphs to treasure.
Because of blogging, I’ve met some wonderful friends. Kept up friendships with people based around the country. Found a whole pile of bookish friends.
It’s brought us so many wonderful opportunities – not least to be able to spend my time working from home so that we can have the home educating family based life I adore. And that in turn means that the children can be involved with the opportunities the blog brings!
But yes, sometimes there’s a downside. Sometimes I spend far too long sitting behind a screen, haunting social media, trying to keep up with the latest trend, linky, hashtag. And sometimes I lose perspective on what’s really important in life, paying too much attention to my stats, instead of to my children.
So today, I’m going to use this opportunity to share the words of a very good bloggy friend of mine, who was once wise enough to tell me that the best way to have things to blog about is to concentrate on living. Life is the very best inspiration there is.
With that in mind, I hope you’ll excuse me. The sun is shining and it’s time to get outside with the children. We’ve got bubbles to blow and flowers to find, shadows to jump on and holes to dig.
Good to meet you all. Hope to catch up again soon.
Thank you so much to Jax Blunt. Visit her blog at LiveOtherWise
Follow her on Twitter @liveotherwise
This post was brought to you courtesy of International Blog Sway day, arranged by Tots100 and Digital Mums and there are lots more swaps going on around the blogosphere – check out the linky here. #IBSD
Thanks so Jax for this reminder. Some days I do too spend my time too long behind the screen as my little ones want to play and some days I procrastinate for too long on what to write when you are right – I just need to live my life to find things to write about. I love blogging and my best writing is when I am free to ramble via the keyboard. Thank you.
Parenthood has inspired plenty of families to seek home base businesses to spend more time with their kids at home. Since becoming a mum myself I have seen mums and dads start their own eBay businesses, consulting, network marketing, party planning, making stuff for the markets, sewing, taking up photography, tutoring…. with the same goal in mind. The types of businesses have been endless as everyone tries to achieve that dream of working from home. In the same token I see those marketers who try to encapsulate the images of what it is to combine Work + Home or Work + Leisure.
Work + Home
You would have seen images like this one. Ahh to be that fresh faced, beautiful, manicured looking mum tapping away at her laptop while equally gorgeous bub smiles charmingly on in a happy blissful dream of earning an income while at home taking care of your baby. I hesitantly remember when I was home with baby twins juggling night feeding in daggy oversized trackpants while the most laptop tapping was Facebook updates of :
Don’t get me wrong – I have the dream too …especially if it involves a man in front of the computer doing paperwork with a baby sitting on his lap just waiting for daddy to finish. Maybe he can do my laundry, clean my house and cook my dinner too?
Have you actually tried to sit in front of the computer with a baby, toddler or 4 year old in your arms??? But my attempts of working with children are probably more realistic to this photo (minus the equally washed hair and manicure) but you get what I am saying.
Have you seriously ever tried working with children? Of course if you plan to park your kids in front of the television on Dora the Explorer re-runs 8 hours a day while you throw biscuits over the safety gates, sure it can be home biz bliss but is that the real dream you have for your kids?
Media say you can have it all – kids and career but there isn’t enough time in the day to be good at both at the same time.
Have you tried to take a business call while the kids crying for your attention in the background as you race around the house trying to find a quiet spot to finish the call? This is one I had quite recent as I was on a teleconference trying to manically silence my children in background while trying to concentrate on the conversation on hand was not an awesome impression.
So what do REAL Parents do when they attempt to work from home with kids? To tell you the truth from ‘my experience’ it is unrealistic to expect to be able to work more than a few hours at home on your business with children at home with no assistance. Sure when you have one baby and it just sleep and feeds at the start it could be achievable but as soon as you add another to the brood and babies become crawling, walking toddlers it is a challenge. In the end parents have had to look at either home help (nannys or babysitters) or assess the very reason they may have embarked on a home business by enrolling them in the dreaded daycare (which isn’t so bad from my experience) so you can have the quiet time to actually get that work done. You need to be super organised to work from home with kids with most parents then spending late nights after the family are in sleep to finish off tasks for the day. My personal favourite is outsourcing tasks that are labour intensive but cheap to delegate. Download my eBook how to start an online business part-time by clicking the banner to learn more.
Work + Leisure
Mashing work and leisure images are creative images for the Make Money Online or Make Money at Home niches. What do you see? You see lovely fabulous people, sometimes wearing suits enjoying their work day away from the confines of a cubical office, horrid bosses and repetitive meetings to a glorious day at the BEACH. Its always at the Beach. A Beach equals holidays, freedom and lifestyle! The actor is also represented in a suit and is always accompanied with a laptop to marry the two images together as a wonderful solution to working form home.
So it was no surprise when I hired my photographer to create some images of me at the beach working with my twins that made it all so real and hysterical at the same time. Would you really bring your laptop to the beach? Would I really bring my laptop to the beach and work and not mind the kids in the background? No not really.
I challenge you though to tell me what are the better images to inspire someone who wants to be a parent work from home?
How do you balance being an attentive awesome parent to growing a profitable business?
Why do these images capture the imagination of so many but are so hilariously unrealistic?
My niche is Life. For the past year or so I have had paralysis of analysis in establishing an online market brand. Paralysis of analysis is not great to be in and I see my team go through it when there is so much online training they get stuck and don’t do anything. But it has come to pass I have been blogging and learning all about online marketing since 2008 and like any accumulated knowledge it has come to fruition that I’ve learnt a lot but I lost some of that passion for blogging and the reason why I came online in the first place.
For the past year I have struggled with that damn market niche question. What is my market niche? How do I find my market niche? You can’t market without a niche they say. And once you find your niche, you need to focus it again and again. And well I have struggled with that in regards to my blog. I get it when you start with a problem that market wants to solve and you develop and market a product which meets that problem. From that you can develop a whole online marketing strategy of websites, SEO, targeted advertising and media. But when I look at my little blog on the internet sphere and what brand do I represent and what am I an Authority in (all the terms bandwagon about by the coaches and successful gurus) I get a little stuck. So before I impart with a few thousand dollars on any branding and coaching courses, I stare at the ceiling in my bed and wonder who I want to be. What is my online brand? What do I really have authority in?
I ask Nathan and he responds I am good at computer stuff as we flip over the channel to the Walking Dead.
So back to my blog.
I look at the blogs I like to follow. When I started blogging it was more about raising awareness for a trip I was taking for mental illness and I loved to read fun blog posts of gorgeous photos of people’s lives. I would read the the trials and tribulations other people had which they would have previously only ever written in their diary. I would read of adventures of travel and kids but I confess I haven’t written about my beautiful 4 year old twins in ages or announced I got engaged.
I ask my daughters what I am good at. Work is the reply.
“Not housekeeping,” Nathan chirps up.
Over the past few years I find I now know the analytics of a “good” blog post. How to structure it and get it out to social media to entice readers to read it. Solve a problem and give a call to action are the mantras. But what about writing because I want to write not to endlessly look at problems to solve?
What is my passion? What do I enjoy?
Can my niche be enough to be just Life? As I look around the café right now as I sip my cold cappuccino typing on my laptop. Is my life niche enough? I suppose there is no other Lisa just like there is no other like you. My interests span from science to entrepreneurship to mindset training to parenting and twins. So it would be absolutely impossible to find people with the exact combination of niche interests. Which is probably reflective in my high bounce rate in Google Analytics (if you are reading this take a moment to read another blog post eh? Love to lower that bounce rate ha-ha).
I have a healthy appreciation for science which others may think law of attraction and mindset training is a little wacky. I can talk and relate to parents but exchange more stories with multiple mums. I love studying and putting on my entrepreneurial hat to talk online business but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea either. I believe direct sales and network marketing is a legitimate business model but other people run a mile with fear of pyramid scams. So my blog doesn’t aim to please everyone because to tell you the truth it’s just a blog about life, my interests and what I learn and chose to share it with.
So I have come to a simple realisation that I don’t have to try that hard to be me. My niche is my life which is pretty unique enough.
P.S. I wrote this blog post free form with no Google Keyword analytics testing first. Haha Breaking away from the freedom just to blog what I want has a certain freedom around it.