Solene X Bobux: WIN a pair of Children's Shoes!

Earlier this year, I featured a FABULOUS shoe brand called Bobux (here in this post) and I'm super pumped to be working alongside them again to showcase their amazing new range.

Bobux recently collaborated with French designer Solene Roure whose extensive portfolio includes companies as diverse as Nike, Louis Vuitton, North Face and Levi’s - turned her attention and distinct fashion design to kids’ shoes, collaborating with Bobux to create eight beautiful designs (ranging from sizes 18-29). See their sizing conversion here. 

Following months of brainstorming and development, Solène’s shoe designs were unlike any other; they stunningly challenged the idea of what a child’s shoe can be.

Mr 4 received a pair to test and review. They've hardly left his feet this past week. They are stylish and fun, versatile and super comfortable. They are of a high quality which means they'll last longer and wear better (even on the feet of a busy, active, messy and dirty 4 year old boy), which makes this Mumma happy. 

The new Solene range are so damn cute and made for both boys and girls. View the range here

And are suitable for teeny bubs to preschoolers.

Because the people at Bobux are so awesome, they're spreading the love and sharing this amazing new range with you, by offering THREE Mum's Closet readers a FREE pair of kiddie's shoes from the Solene Collection. 

To go into the draw to win a pair of Solene X Bobux Shoes, simply:


-- Head over to the Solene Range and then come back here and tell me which pair you love most and want to win for your little one. 

For 2 more ways to enter....

- follow bobuxshoes on Instagram, then pop back here and leave another comment telling me you've done so.

- share this blog post / giveaway on any of your social media channels and then come back here leaving another comment telling me you've done so. Include your social media name or link.  

3x WINNERS WILL BE DRAWN BY RANDOM ON SUNDAY JULY 17th at midday QLD time. 

{Boring but necessary bits: *Australian residents / postal addresses only *Make sure you leave your email address in your entry comments so we can contact you if you're one of the winners. *Winners will be drawn at random and contacted via email. *Winners can select one pair of children's shoes from the stated range.} 

GOOD LUCK!

Claire x 

 

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WIN Tickets to see Ice Age Collision Course in Cinemas These School Holidays

On Sunday, the kids and I were treated to some free tickets to the Media Launch of the newest Ice Age instalment....Ice Age Collision Course in Brisbane.

We laughed and fretted and imagined, whilst staring wide eyed at the screen with popcorn in hand....all the things you want to feel when watching kiddie movies. With the usual characters from the series (Oh Sid the Sloth, I love you!) plus a few bright new, loveable additions, this movie got thumbs up from my little crew. 

Ice Age Collision Course in Cinemas school holidays. Win movie tickets on www.mumscloset.com.au

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS:

Everyone’s favourite characters are back and this time the herd ventures to an entirely new world - the magical Geotopia! 

Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World.  To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colourful new characters.

CAST:
Simon Pegg, Jennifer Lopez, Adam DeVine, Jessie J, Max Greenfield, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, John Leguizamo, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Rauch and Ray Romano.

View the trailer here: 

And to share the love...and to save you a small fortune these cold school holidays (bunkering down in the cinemas will be an perfect option!), I'm giving away FOUR Double Passes to see the movie yourself. Valid in most cinemas, Australia-wide, I'm doing a quick draw to ensure you get the tickets ASAP, so your little ones don't have to wait too long to see this fun film. 

TO BE IN THE DRAW TO WIN 1 of 4 DOUBLE PASSES, Simply:

- Leave a comment here on this blog post telling me why you want to win a DOUBLE PASS. Ensure your email address is in your comment so I can contact you ASAP to get the tickets to you!

- For additional entries, simply share this blog post on your social media channels and each time come back here leaving me a comment telling me you've done so. (put a link to the share or your social media username/handle.)  

- Sorry - only AUSTRALIAN residents/addresses for this giveaway. 

- These FREE tickets can be used in cinemas NOW - even during their no free ticket periods, as they are direct from 20th Century Fox. #winning #happy

- Competition ends on Tuesday 28th June at Midday (QLD time). Winners will be notified that same afternoon. 

- The 4 winners will receive a double pass in the mail. I will draw winners by random and notify them by email. Tickets will then be sent via postal mail after email communication and address exchange have taken place. 

QUICK -  you've only got 5 days to enter! 

GOOD LUCK!

 

Win Ice Age Collision Course tickets on Mum's Closet the blog.

 

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So...How Much Money Do You Make as a Blogger?

Ok, today's post is tackling a hushed topic....MONEY...and how much of it freelance bloggers make! I decided to write this post for several reasons.... {1} people (readers/friends/even strangers) occasionally ask me how much I make as a blogger..... {2} In all 'blogger' forums, courses, groups, conferences I've attended or been apart of; we all want to know how much each other earns and what kind of work we all attract and what kind of fees/costs we charge for such work.....and {3} After getting to know lots of amazing bloggers on a personal level, I've learned a lot about where they make their money and how much is realistically coming their way. 

How much money do you make as a blogger?

Now....unlike my teaching job...where I work for the Government and get paid a set amount every fortnight based on my fraction of days worked and my classification of experience; working as a blogger is hugely different. Mainly because it's an independent set-up where I work for myself, on my own terms in a fairly new industry that is based on creativity, results, statistics and ever-changing-budgets. Any business owner in any industry would know the hustle, decision-making-process, determination, risks-taken and costly investments are all factors that all play huge roles in how well you succeed and how much money you make. It's not easy. And blogging is the same - it is not easy to make money, let alone a full-time income, from blogging for yourself, for your own brand. In fact it's very hard and an ever so hungry cycle. 

Some bloggers make amazing amounts of money from their work each year. In fact there are zillions of creative, clever, hardworking men and women out there who make hugely impressive incomes from their blogging business. I look up to these people greatly, as I know personally how much work, time, energy and pizazz they're putting in each day (and night) to get to where they are. Some bloggers make millions each year. That blows my mind.

But, that's not me (oh, if only!). At some stages over the past few years, I've called myself a 'fulltime blogger' because I was on leave from my teaching job, wrangling the upbringing of little ones and using that time to deliver and grow my 'brand/business' of having a blog and offering writing services. Now, let me also clarify....my 'full-time' looked different to other people's 'full-time' - I never had child-free time to work on my blog on a consistent basis. My priorities were my family, home-life and raising my babies - therefore my full-time blogging involved a lot of juggling and multitasking but obviously nowhere near 'full-time' hours put in. And I've never earned a consistent 'full-time' wage from blogging.

Yes, everyone's perspective and opinion of how much a full-time wage is varies. For me, I know how much I can earn as a full-time teacher therefore I have that figure in mind when I consider what a yearly income would need to be, to be classified as 'full time' for me. However, for some people $35K may be considered as a suitable full-time wage or for others it may be $150K.....we're all different! 

Some months, I earned a fabulous wage from my blog/s....enough to match or even beat that of a full-time teacher, however I find freelancing and blogging very inconsistent....so some months may be abundant, and others very VERY dry. Some of the dry patches could last weeks or months and other times work and opportunity would come in big delicious doses. There have been times where I haven't earned enough to even cover the monthly costs of having a blog (website hosting fees, subscriptions, email accounts etc) and then times when I've had an income stream healthy enough to consider bringing on paid staff members to help me maintain the workload and grow into different arenas. It is always a see-saw ride, this 'working for myself' journey. 

HOWEVER....as I said before...it's a fiercely hungry and competitive industry where the priorities and goal posts are always moving. You have to be 'ON'....all.the.time! And when you turn 'off', opportunities are missed, doors are closed and money, along with new chances, collaborations and relationships dry up. 

Do I love working for myself and being a blogger?? Simple answer....YES!!!!! However, as explained in THIS POST, things are changing around here....and I am leaning more into my teaching career again and putting my time and energy into a job that sustains us a regular income, whilst bringing me happiness, family balance, calm and and inner feeling of success. This is what's best for our family, right now, moving forward. But I love blogging and writing with a fiery drive like no other, hence, why Mum's Closet (along with some of my other freelance roles) will continue.   

Is blogging right for you?? Have you considered starting a blog and wondered if you can make a living (or just some extra spending cash) from it? You're not alone, apparently 2 million blogs are written each day - WOWZERS! But I'll break it to you now....please don't start a blog to instantly become rich or earn a crazy amount of money each time you press publish! If money is your only driving force, then blogging is not the right industry for you. Yes, you can earn some cash from your blog and hey, you may even be able to eventually earn a part to full-time wage, but it's not easy or quick. Ask any successful blogger, they'll give you the same answer!!

Brands want to work with bloggers who have powerfully large statistics and/or a really engaged audience. Both of these factors take time to build and achieve. Having credibility and experience and a unique brand, all takes time, trial & error, patience and a bucketload of work. 

If you want to blog for fun, to have a voice, to connect with others, to flex your creative muscles, to support a cause, to spread a message, to try a new hobby, to build a platform, to share your knowledge/advice or stories or to simply journal your life and experiences, then YES....please....give blogging a try. It's an amazing community to be apart of. In fact, I've developed an eCourse (that's sitting on my computer almost finished, gathering dust) that covers the basic HOW-TO's on starting your own blog. Is this something you'd like to do? I planned on selling the course for a really low price to beginner bloggers, but it's something that I put aside and am now thinking it's time to resurrect it, finish it off and make it available to you guys to assist your blogging journey! Let me know if this interests you.  

So....the big question....how much do I earn as a blogger?

Now, this question doesn't really have a set answer (sorry to disappoint), because as I stated before, every week, every month, every year is so different and very inconsistent. Some bloggers have regular campaigns that bring them consistent incomes to rely on, others rely on all types of income-streams. 

Here at Mum's Closet, we earn anything from $300+ per sponsored post, depending on the type of work involved. Some bloggers charge less than this and others charge a whole lot more than this. It's all based on readership and statistics and what's fair for the hours and effort invested. When my blog was new and much smaller, I charged a lot less, but as my brand and readership grew, I increased my prices. 

I also make money from (and it's these low lying fruits that actually bring in the majority of my income):

  • affiliate links that provide commissions
  • banner ads and advertising imagery
  • selling other people's brands and products in posts or in the shop tab.
  • doing reviews or social media shares
  • developing and selling my own products (digital or physical)
  • writing for other blogs/websites/magazines
  • speaking, emceeing, hosting and presenting at events
  • collaborating with brands on creative projects or campaigns

Do I make enough money on a consistent basis to classify myself as a 'full-time' blogger?? Nope. Could I??? Yes...if I chugged full-time hours into it and blossomed out to offer more services and products.  

And after getting to know lots of successful bloggers, I now realise they make most of their money from other avenues and multiple streams....not just from writing content on their blog. They make it from offering products and/or services which contribute to their overall income as a 'blogger'.  They are multi-talented, quick-movers and skilled in various areas.

Most Australian bloggers disclose when they are writing about a product or brand that is 'sponsored' to ensure the lines of communication and honesty are open within their community. I do this too...so you all know when I'm being paid. However, I only take on campaigns that suit me, my blog or you guys. I have turned down MANY offers and opportunities over the years, as I knew it would not fit with my voice or audience at all. This is sometimes hard...because hey...they're offering me money! But it's important that I stay true to myself and this space. 

Whether you're a blogger or not, I hope this post clarified some of the hush hush topics of where and how bloggers make their money. Yes, we get sent lots of free stuff and our lives may look perfect and posh via Social Media, but please remember that bloggers are just like you and me. Hardworking, creative people out chasing dreams, in an attempt to earn a living, make a difference, do what they love and grow a business.

Being a 'fulltime' blogger is in fact a very exhausting and taxing job, that also comes with lots of fabulous perks :) 

Happy Monday All.

Claire x

P.S. Email me, or comment here on this post if a beginners guide to HOW TO START A BLOG eCourse is something you'd be interested in!

 

 

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The Holy CAPE...Your Winter Guide.

Kirsty and I recently attended a business event in Sydney. It was Autumn, therefore cool, but not freezing. I knew we'd be inside most of the day so I wanted to dress light & layered but still presentable and 'business like', yet still super comfortable (as I knew the day would consist of a lot of sitting around). So I opted for a basic knit black bodycon dress, ankle boots and some gold bling. To stay warm and add a touch of character to the outfit, I wore my trusty go-to piece - THE FAITHFUL BLACK CAPE! During the day Kirsty and I joked that the theme of the day was clearly 'gorgeous capes' :) as we saw some gorgeous variations of this piece, worn in so many different ways. The host (Lisa Messenger) was wearing a black cape with jeans and boots, whereas one amazing female speaker (Julie Stevanja from Style Runner) wore hers with a blouse and stunning pencil skirt with killer stilettos. And that's what I love about capes, they go with anything and everything! From jeans and sneakers on the sports sidelines to heels and minis when out with the girls - a cape could become your go-to 'layer' piece each Winter. In fact, I'm now into my second Winter with my cape and it's still a fave!

Mine is from Pink Ruby Fashion (see it here) but I believe they may be sold out (Noooo)...touch base with the store though - you never know...they may restock. Pink Ruby have more capes here. 

A friend recently asked me about my cape, and I get a zillion compliments when I wear it, so I thought it would be fitting to do a post on some of my faves that are available NOW online, so you can snag yourself a trusty cape blazer too...

Into The Woods Cape by Fresh Soul on THE ICONIC // $149.94 // BUY HERE

Into The Woods Cape by Fresh Soul on THE ICONIC // $149.94 // BUY HERE

I also love this lighter shade of the charcoal cape:

Overdrive Cape in Charcoal on ST FROCK // $69.90 // BUY HERE

Overdrive Cape in Charcoal on ST FROCK // $69.90 // BUY HERE

If you really want to make an outfit pop, try a white or ivory cape.

White always looks so sophisticated and crisp:

Illuminate Cape by Keepsake the Label on THE ICONIC // $199.95 // BUY HERE

Illuminate Cape by Keepsake the Label on THE ICONIC // $199.95 // BUY HERE

Eliza Cape Coat by We areKindred on THE ICONIC // $179.50 (SALE) // BUY HERE

Eliza Cape Coat by We areKindred on THE ICONIC // $179.50 (SALE) // BUY HERE

Or splash out with some bold colour:

Lavish Alice Cape on ASOS // $117 // BUY HERE

Lavish Alice Cape on ASOS // $117 // BUY HERE

Alice Capelet in Black from FOREVER NEW // $129.95 // BUY HERE

Alice Capelet in Black from FOREVER NEW // $129.95 // BUY HERE

My number one pick from the 6 I shared would probably be the last one (from Forever New) as it's closest to mine in style (and a great price) and as I said before, it's truly a gem of a piece. 

Are you on the hunt for a cape jacket this season? Let me know if you find any other fab ones. 

Claire x 

 

 

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Right Now...

Popping in today to (1) apologise....yes it's been quiet around here hasn't it?! but life is just generally getting in the way of all blogging at the moment and (2) to share a few snippets of what's going on in my little world right now, along with some changes...

Happy moments = Saturday evenings by the lake with my family. 

Happy moments = Saturday evenings by the lake with my family. 

I had a little epiphany (or slap in the face, whatever you want to call it) around the concept of WORKING and HUSTLING and MAKING A LIVING and THE TYPE OF LIFESTYLE I WANT TO LEAD a few months ago. It came out of the blue. We were chugging along, like most Australian families, doing our best to earn a decent income and to provide a good lifestyle for our little ones. Debt became a normal part of our everyday worries and living outside of our means started to also become 'normal'. BUT...around Valentine's Day, my husband left his job, which was a big shakeup to our life (with him being the main breadwinner) and in turn it forced us to make some big, scary decisions (gosh, adulting can be hard sometimes!) about what really matters to us these days, and what doesn't! It was quite sobering (and liberating) to realise we both had moved on from previous envisions and priorities and were on the same page (maybe for the first time in a long time). We really reassessed what mattered most to us now that our youngest (Mr4) is off to full-time school next year and with Mr 17 graduating high-school at the same time. We made lists and spreadsheets and seeked advice. The fancy cars or extravagant living didn't make the cut of our non-negotiable list, but our children's education and stress-free life did! 

In that moment, I decided to take a step back from my 'work from home businesses' (not completely....I just took my foot off the accelerator pedal, made some massive (yet slower-paced) changes and readjusted the direction and goal posts) and to focus more on getting back into the workforce, which in my world, means teaching full-time again. I've been teaching part-time since the kids were born (with a year here and there maternity leave) but now that they're not 'so little' and my job of nurturing their home-life/toddler years has shifted, it felt right to look at upping my work days and earning a bigger/better income once more to help our family moving forward. 

Life has a funny way of working out doesn't it?! The second I started putting myself out there, taking some risks and asking the universe to provide me with what we needed; opportunities started coming thick and fast. With two job offers presented to me on the same day and a huge list of relief teaching/contract periods I was able to help us through that icky time and that felt good. And then at the same time I was blogging, writing and managing some social media accounts as well (yes, a lot more less frequently, but still on a part time basis that suited me and my busy new rhythm).

Over this time, I learned a few things about myself (1) I would do anything for my family to ensure they're happy and healthy! Anything!, (2) My love and passion for teaching was reignited. I'm feeling inspired & happy in the classroom in a way I have't felt in 7 or so years! Absolutely LOVING it in fact! ....and (3) The urge to be crazy busy all the time and known for my 'hustling / juggling' ways, was really not important to me at all anymore! In fact, I'm now a whole lot more drawn to a slower, simpler life....filled with family time, fitness, cleaner eating and memorable moments. Yes I still have an urge to create and connect, coz that's just a natural part of me, but something has clicked inside and I'm settling into a new rhythm. 

Yes, I love (repeat LOVE) writing and blogging and creating and the freedom of working for myself. But I also love the chance to work for someone else with set hours and get the same pay week in, week out. I love knowing what I need to do and how I should do it. I love working with kids and other adults, and the flexible hours that fit so nicely with our lifestyle. I guess I want my cake and eat it too. I want to teach AND work for myself AND have family time, me time and a simplistic approach to my days! Haaa....bear with me.... 

So....over these past few months I've really thought about what I need in life compared to what I want in life. And I'm realising that I'm now in a different stage. I no longer have babies. (sniff sniff!) My role of raising them at home is done. I will be FOREVER GRATEFUL that I had that opportunity and I don't regret a second of it. 

I'm still writing regular articles for other bloggers/websites/magazines but I've also pulled the pin on some too. I'm still here on Mum's Closet sharing blog posts (not as many as I'd like, or as often as I'd like....but I'm making peace with that - and I hope you guys stick around, even though I'm not publishing new posts daily anymore!) but I've had to pull the pin on some other business ventures too to make room, time and head space for what's most important. I tested the waters of full-time teaching during the first month of this term and it went fabulously. And as a result I was offered a full-time position on MY OWN PREP CLASS (insert happy dance!) starting next term for the rest of the year! I'm really looking forward to that role! Bring it. 

Mum's Closet will still continue. It is my baby after all. My passion. But I am giving myself permission and taking away any pressure (that I put on myself as I was growing 'my brand') that I have to post a certain amount of times each week or each month and I have to have a constant online presence. I was starting to become a 'little over' the ever-hungry hustle and busyness and 24hour work days, and am now loving nothing more than simpler routines that revolve around a career, my family, my health and my hobbies. Life is too short and I don't want to get to 80 years of age and regret missing so much of my children's lives because I was glued to my computer or iPhone or deadlines.   

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
— {George Bernard Shaw}

I feel like, although in my mid-thirties, that I'm still creating myself. Like I'm coming out of my safe little cocoon ready to embark on new adventures. 

So, what does all this mean for you; my readers. Nothing really. Except my posting may be a little inconsistent and less frequent. I'll still be working with brands from time to time and writing about all things I love, and you do too. I hope you guys stick around - I absolutely adore this community and the amazing feedback/engagement/participation I get from you lovely ladies. (and some men....hi Dad...haha) 

Now, with ALL OF THAT SAID, I do have something in the pipeline that will launch sometime soon around the Mum's Closet Shop. But I'm taking my time on it (compared to the Claire who usually bores into things before you can blink) and I'm organically building a support network and staff/team so that the new venture runs along without me personally needing to inject daily work into it. Stay tuned.... x

And, on a side note, my husband went into a new job only a month later and to be honest, what happened back in February was possibly the best thing to happen to us this year. Funny how life works sometimes hey!?

AND....if you follow me on Instagram, you would've seen that my husband had emergency surgery on Monday. He's home now, but unable to walk or leave the bed. So....we're back into recovery mode and I'm playing full-time Nurse to my poor Love. 

Never a dull moment!

Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
— Bob Bitchin

Hope you're all well Lovelies. Tell me, what's been happening in your world lately?

Claire x 

 

 

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Introducing our Newest Family Member...

No, this is not a pregnancy announcement.... but it's (almost) as exciting....

We have a new family member! 

Introducing..... Mr D:

Mr D..... our new Dyson Cinetic Vacuum Cleaner. My new favourite toy and love affair. 

Mr D..... our new Dyson Cinetic Vacuum Cleaner. My new favourite toy and love affair. 

Isn't he a beauty?

Isn't he a beauty?

I have a OCD when it comes to my floors. Vacuuming is a regular thing in my house. Our clothes may be crinkled coz I hate ironing and our garden beds sprinkled with weeds. Our draws and cupboards may wreak hoarding-havoc and our pillows are most likely well past their 'healthy change over' date. BUT.......when it comes to floors.....all is right in the world when my floors are dust/grass/hair/crumb free! It's just my 'thing'. 

So, with that said, we go through more vacuum cleaners than the average household, because I put our VC under constant pressure to perform well ;) Our last vacuum cleaner served it's purpose and did us well. It was a fairly 'affordable' one, as it's all we could manage at the time of purchase. It got us through 3 house-moves and more than it's fair share of usage. BUT....it was costly to run (I would need $25 worth of disposable bags and filter pads every 5 weeks) and omitted a smelly dusty air back into the house! By the end of it's time the lid had snapped off, meaning all the attachments would fall out and the floor tool had become scratchy with a loud nails-on-a-blackboard sound that made me shiver with every push. I had just said to my husband that I thought it was on it's last days and we will need to budget in a new one soon. 

Fate stepped in....because just days later as I was eating my lunch at work an email popped up on my phone asking if I'd like to trial and review the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Vacuum Cleaner that is bag & filter free!! Hell YES!.....I responded to that email in record time, and just a week later our delivery man turned up with my new favourite family member (shhh....don't tell the kids!). 

I know I am sad sad person, but I was seriously like a kid on Christmas when that baby arrived! It came straight out of the box and I've been having so much fun playing with all the different parts and attachments. My favourite? The long thin 'soft' brush which is for cleaning blinds as well as in and under furniture without scratching or getting stuck! A game changer in cleaning our wall of white shutters....

Claire Chadwick reviews the new Dyson Cinetic vacuum cleaner on www.mumscloset.com.au

Saturday morning: home from a 7am run and straight into the vacuuming. I'm normal aren't I?? Please tell me I'm normal ;) 

What can I say?....I love it! 

Cinetic Ball Vacuum Cleaner by Dyson

So my honest thoughts?....

  • This is the first time I've owned a Dyson and it has definitely lived up to it's name.
  • It's small and easy to store but still powerful and super effective.
  • It will work out so much cheaper in the long run as we won't need to buy bags, filters or extra attachments.
  • It came with a huge range of attachments for all your cleaning needs!
  • It has a 2 year (free) guarantee.
  • Free delivery when you buy online here. 
  • It's quiet and doesn't loose suction when I go from tiles to carpet to the floor rug. 
  • It's gross but AWESOME to empty out the barrel and to see exactly what was hiding in your carpets. 

Yes I was gifted this product, but my thoughts and review is honest. I love this cleaner and am wondering why we didn't save the thousands of dollars over the years buying new (cheaper) vacuum cleaners and bags and just invested in a Dyson to start with. Live and learn I guess. 

So, there you go. Welcome to the Chadwick house Mr D. You and me will get along just fine I think!

Are you on the hunt for a new vacuum cleaner? Have you had, or do you currently have a Dyson? Thoughts?

 

Click on image to be taken to Dyson's website with more information and pricing...

Claire x

 

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10 Foods That You Think Are Healthy But Actually Aren't

I've recently become a lot more mindful and aware of the food/s that I'm putting into my and my family's bodies. No, I'm not a pure vegan/organic/only-wholefoods/paleo/raw eating Mumma, and yes you will find me indulging in the occasional Baskin n Robbins Cookie Dough Ice Cream (without any guilt) and you will find prepackaged cookies in my kid's lunch boxes.

I'm not getting all preachy on you, because mine or my family's diet is nowhere near perfect; but, I've spent some more time of recent learning what's not as healthy as I first thought (or how advertising perceives) and where I could make some changes with our overall diet. I find it's more the snack foods that I struggle to find healthier options for. I'm happy with a handful of nuts, and some cut vegies or fruit, but 2 of my 3 children are not easy to please, therefore a convenient pre-packaged snack (or several) always makes it's way into my shopping trolley.  

10 foods that you think are healthy but actually aren't on Mum's Closet blog

Here are 10 foods that you may think are healthy, but aren't all that good for us:

1. Muesli / Energy Bars:

Although these sometimes contain some great wholesome ingredients, fruits, nuts or proteins, they are usually jam-packed with added sugars, syrups, preservatives and artificial flavours/colours/sweeteners. A handful of nuts or some homemade options may be a better option. 

2. Bottled Salad Dressings / Mayonnaises:

Again, like number one, a lot of salad dressings are laced with high amounts of calories from added sugars, preservatives and flavours which make them taste better, but can add a significant amount to your daily calorie count. Even the 'FAT FREE' options can sometimes be 'not that great' for you - yes, the fat content is low or zero but the calorie levels are high! A squirt of Olive Oil with some fresh cut herbs may be a better option. 

3. Dried Fruit:

Yes, it's a form of fruit and contains some vitamins and antixodants. But usually sugar, syrup or other chemicals are added to the fruit in the preserving/dehydrating process. Fresh fruit is always a better option but dried fruit is still a fairly good snack when consumed in moderation and balance. 

4. Vitamin Water / Sports Drinks:

Again, the calorie count is quite epic. Added sugars give these drinks their sweetness and taste but can sabotage your good food diet very quickly. Some of these drinks also have high levels of salt or sodium. Always check the labels and make a decision on why you want/need this drink option. For a cheaper and fresher idea : add some cut up fruit (lemon, strawberries, blueberries) to your water bottle. Yes, you're still consuming natural sugars from the fruits, but at least it's a more wholesome option without the added flavours, chemicals and nasties. 

5. Bottled Juice:

It's easy to believe that 'juice' can be healthy as it's made from fruit. And it all depends on which brands you buy, however most bottled juices in the dry grocery aisles are loaded with added sugars, flavours, colours and preservatives. Some clever marketing makes us think we're giving our children a fruity, healthy drink to start the day; however when you read the fine print, they're not all that great after all. Mr 4 loves a freshly squeezed orange juice with ice, which is easy to make (a simple hand squeezer) and I know it's fresh and as healthy as juice can get. 

6. Low Fat Peanut Butter:

Peanuts and Peanut Butter are known for their substantial levels of monounsaturated fat (the good stuff). When you get the low-fat option you are taking away some of these good fats and instead consuming a high dose of extra unnecessary calories and sugars. When it comes to this tasty sandwich spread; stick to the whole fat option.  

7. Multigrain Bread:

When the grains are 100% wholegrain you're onto a winner, but many of the multigrain breads on our shelves are made with refined grains; meaning they lose a lot of their goodness. Learning to read what's good in bread and what's not is important. I've been buying multigrain for years, thinking it was a better option than white bread. Turns out I was wrong, depending on what brand I bought. 

8. Low Fat / Skim Milk:

When the fat is removed from a product such as milk, it's sodium and sugar levels are often increased, as does the thickener and chemical content. Consuming fat can be a good thing for your body as it supports healthy functioning of many organs and can contribute to healthy hormone levels. Knowing which fats are best and understanding healthy quantities is the key.

9. Smoothies:

What?? They're loaded with fruit and protein...how can they be unhealthy?! I am a big smoothie advocate (you can grab my FREE Smoothie and Juice Recipe book HERE!) but because of mammoth amounts of fruits, vegetables and extras all thrown into the one cup, they can have quite high calorie counts. I will admit that I overlook this and will still down a smoothie every other day, as I find it a nutritious and filling way to start the day. I will be mindful of my calories/sugars consumed the rest of the day though as to not overload my body. My skin usually lets me know when I've had too much sugar (whether it be natural or processed).

10. Shredded / Pre-Grated Cheese:

While it's convenient and deliciously tasty, a lot of speculation has been spotlighted on packaged pre-grated cheeses of recent times. So, it turns out..that white powdery stuff covering the pre-shredded cheese pieces is not cheese dust or dried cheese crumbs; it's additives! Most commonly used is Cellulose Powder which is added to prevent the cheese from clumping or sticking together. If you compare the ingredients on the back of the packet with that of a block cheese, you'll notice more ingredients including extra chemicals, numbers and even potato starch. I think I need to get back to buying block/ball cheese again and spending an extra 2 measly minutes grating it myself. 

Looks (or marketing!) can be deceiving hey!?

Claire x 

 

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Pawfect Pets. GIVEAWAY with Bravecto for their Smart Dogs Campaign.

We've had our little pup Latte for just over a year now and it's hard to remember what it was like before he came along.

Having a dog is a big responsibility, yet comes with so much goodness that I now understand why families become so attached to their little four-legged friends. Latte is still so young and we're learning all about the good and the not-so-good parts that come with being a doggy-lovin family. The good like....his little wagging tail in the mornings when he first wakes and the pure delight he shows us as we walk in the front door after being at work/school all day, the way he smiles (yes, he smiles!), his not-so-subtle hints when he wants a belly rub, the enthusiasm he has for life (just mention the W word (walkies) and he's PUMPED!, and the not-so-good.....the toilet training (that still has it's down days...even a year on), the barking at the window at birds, planes, the post man and anything that he's dying to chase, the small dog syndrome (he thinks he's so much bigger and tougher than he really is!) and the most significant at the moment...his aggressive reaction/anxiety/fear when startled from sleep or rest. 

Just like parenting children, being a dog owner comes with a beautiful mix of joy and challenges.

Latte the Moodle. Waiting patiently for his delicious Bravecto tablet :) 

Latte the Moodle. Waiting patiently for his delicious Bravecto tablet :) 

Your dog's health is also an ongoing responsibility... from immunisations to microchipping, to teeth/mouth products, to bathing and clipping, to nutritious meals and to worming, flea and tick prevention/treatment. 

However, thanks to Bravecto the stress, cost and effort to keep your dog safe from fleas and Paralysis ticks has now been made a lot easier. 

Dr Katrina Warren is the National Ambassador for Bravecto, an oral treatment offering dog owners unprecedented extended protection – just 1 tasty chew protects dogs for 4 months against paralysis ticks and 3 months against fleas – meaning fewer treatments to remember each year, and less to forget! Smart dogs have smart owners, and smart owners use Bravecto.

Find out more about Bravecto at www.bravecto.com.au,on Facebook at Bravecto AU, or via Instagram @bravectoau.

Bravecto - beats ticks and fleas for 4 months in one tablet. Review and Giveaway on www.mumscloset.com.au

The good people at Bravecto have kindly offered 20 Mum's Closet readers/followers the chance to win a pack of their awesome chewable tablets that treat and prevent fleas and paralysis ticks....and only have to be taken every 3 months instead of fortnightly or monthly, like most other brands. 

Plus, they've taken the thought out for you with their awesome app which sends you a reminder when your dog is due for their next tablet. HELL YEAH to this....because I know the months are flying by and having one less thing to remember or jot down on our crazily full calendar is a massive help! 

Win a packet of dog flea/tick chewable tablet on Mum's Closet blog with Bravecto

How to win a PACK of Bravecto Flea/Paralysis Tick Chewable Tablets for Your Beloved Dog:

(This is apart of the Bravecto's Smart Dog Campaign with ambassador Dr Katrina, and involves $1500 in prizes!) 

The Boring (but necessary) Bits: 

- Open to Australian residents only for postage reasons. Thanks for your understanding. 

- 20 Winners will be drawn at random from the entries submitted. They must follow the giveaway rules/expectations and be contactable. 

- There are 4 ways to enter. You may enter 1-4 times.  

- Winners will be contacted via email.

- GIVEAWAY ends and drawn on Sunday 15th May at 5pm (QLD time).  

GOOD LUCK to you and your pooches. 

Claire x

 

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