Authors Posts by James Tew

James Tew


A sticky date… with ice cream

Every parent’s worst nightmare, a child covered in a sticky substance, no baby wipes and out in public. I partly have to take the blame for this one, I never taught her how to eat ice cream from the cone…

It's slowly dripping...

It’s slowly dripping…

“Do we get her a cone?” I said to Christine as we both exchanged troubled looks. We both knew neither of us brought any portable cleaning products and we still had to get some things from the shops.

We are currently on holidays in Whyalla, South Australia, where the outback meets the sea. Wendy’s gets a pretty big work out from what I have seen and for a good reason, it’s hot. But as you all know, ice cream melts when it’s hot, especially in a hands of a two year old.

Why haven’t I taught you to eat an ice cream out of the cone?!

I guess it was partly fear, of this happening. The image of a sticky mess unable to effectively clean it all up and the stained clothes, oh not the clothes!

She started with biting the bottom of the cone off.  Again, troubled looks were exchanged between Christine and I. I am playing the scenario through my head, where is the toilet, did I grab enough napkins from Wendy’s?

Surprisingly, the ice cream did not drip from the bottom, just everywhere else. Her hands were covered and it was slowly dripping down the sides.

Emergency evasive action!

Emergency action needed to be taken

Emergency action needed to be taken

“Get some more napkins!”. Christine jumped from her seat and fetched some more, I tried my best to mop up the drips from the cone. I managed to get rid of all the excess ice cream just as Christine arrived with a re-supply of napkins. “Put them on her lap”, good idea I thought.

The end was near. The rainbow ice cream had been devoured and we were in the safety of the cone zone. But what about the sticky fingers you ask?

Well surprisingly, my little angel (devil) managed to keep a relatively tight schedule on finger licking which minimised the stickiness.

Well played Miss 2, well played indeed.

I guess, I didn’t need to teach her how to eat ice cream from a cone after all. Everyday I am fascinated by how much she actually knows compared to what I think she knows. Both her and sisters continue to wrap me around their fingers and everyday, I love them just that little bit more, except at 3 am. Nobody loves waking up at 3 am…

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Why I blog with Mike from

Each week I’ll be bringing you an interview from a different Dad Blogger from around the planet. The idea behind the ‘Why I blog’ series is each week a fellow blogger can share tips and some motivation about what drives them to blog.

Kicking off the series is Mike from here’s a little about Mike before we get started.

Mike with his girls. Find him at

I am a middle school assistant principal and father of twin toddler girls.  I have contributed to The Good Men Project and Grown Ups Magazine and have articles pending in TWINS magazine and Multiplicity Magazine.  I have authored an e-book entitled: “Twin Dad Talks: Help for First-Time Fathers Navigating Pregnancy” and am starting a Twitter chat for twin parents called #TwinsChat on Monday evenings.

I’ve been married for over seven years to my wife, Holly, who also has a blog called “When Two Became Four: The Adventures of Twin Girls”.  I enjoy blogging about my family, specifically, raising twins.  I also talk about other stuff that may be relevant in the news or in my head, but the focal point is family blogging about raising children.

Mike, how long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for five months now.  I started my blog in late July after I saw how much fun my wife had with it (hers is over a year old now) and went “public” with it on August 2.

How (i.e a friend showed you how) and why did you start your blog?

My wife’s blog is through Blogger, so I knew it wasn’t hard to begin.  I started blogging because I needed a hobby and golf was too expensive.  I’ve always enjoyed writing and people I know tend to find me funny.  I’m also quite sarcastic at times, so I thought the combination would go well in a blogging atmosphere that is not deeply saturated yet.  Daddy bloggers are not a huge community yet, but they are growing.  In addition, I felt as though I could approach it from an interesting angle because there are not a lot of dads with blogs who also have twins and are school administrators.  I felt as though I could give interesting views on topics in my family and about education.  However, I don’t write much about education, because that’s what I do and I try to separate myself from that when I’m at home.

Have you learnt anything specific from blogging? 

I’ve learned that someone that writes really good content can go a while and not get a lot of pageviews.  I’m not saying that my content is awesome, but I know I’ve written a couple of decent posts that if exposed to the right communities, it could get a lot of views.  I’ve also learned that being active on social media is pretty much everything.  Before blogging, I had less than 10 followers on Twitter, now I have 1500.  But, I’ve spent a lot of time following other people and recently, joining in some Twitter chats to get my name out there.  Ideally, I’d like to tell you that I just do it as a hobby to document my thoughts, but realistically, I want people to read what I write.  That’s why I’ve put myself out there for writing for online publications.  I enjoy doing it, but it can get time consuming, and if you’re not getting paid for it (I’m definitely not), you start to wonder what the point is.

List 2 benefits you can see from starting a blog?

1. You have something that your kids can look back on.  They don’t have to ask you all the time, they can read your blog and know your thoughts when the situation happened.  When they ask you about family pictures 15 years from now, you tend to forget some things about it, but if you keep a blog and update it frequently, it’s kind of like keeping a piece of history.

2. If you have interests in freelance writing or something on a bigger scale, it’s a place to start.

Do you have any specific tools that you use for blogging? i.e. plugins?

I use the Twitter buttons like “follow” and Tweet the post, but I had my blog design customized by someone on Etsy.  I highly recommend if you are serious about blogging and want it to look nice to have someone do it for you…I know very little HTML and would have a really hard time trying to do any of it myself.  The free themes you can find are good to get started, but ultimately, you want it to look unique to anything else.  I also purchased my domain name through and got a huge discount, I think I purchased for $3.00.

Where can readers find your blog and how can they get in contact with you?

My blog can be found at, and I am on Twitter at @TwinDadTalks.  I also have a Facebook page for my blog Twin Dad Talks and have started an account on Pinterest (mgcrider).  I love connecting with new people and want to join conversations with other parents on what their joys and frustrations are in parenting.  I’m also trying to start a Twitter chat for parents of twins, since I have not seen one on Twitter.

I also enjoy taking the opportunity to do interviews like this, and I’m very appreciative of the opportunity.  I’m honored that people read my material and like it, and I just want to be able to enhance my writing and submit material that people enjoy reading.  Thanks James, for allowing me to be a part of this interview!

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What’s your New Years Resolution?

Set SMART Goals this New Years to ensure your success

Set SMART Goals this New Years to ensure your success

Set SMART Goals this New Years to ensure your success

2014 is just around the corner and it’s that time to make that dreaded New Years resolution. But how are you going to ensure you make a New Years resolution that is achievable in 2014?

Set a S.M.A.R.T Goal!

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. (Tweet this!)

(As featured in my Essential Holiday Survival Guide)

Using this formula will help you develop a series of goals or a goal that will allow you to be successful this year.

Specific – It’s no good making non-specific goals this New Years as it won’t give you a goal post. By making your goals specific (I’m going to run a marathon in 2014, follow me on Operation MOVE) it allows you to know exactly what you aiming to achieve.

Measurable – Is your goal measurable? “I’m going to get fitter this year” isn’t measurable. “I’m going to run a full marathon in November 2014″ is. This goal tells me exactly what I am aiming to achieve and by when I am going to achieve it.

Attainable – Are you going to be able to achieve your goal or is it wishful thinking? I hate running but I enjoy the challenge that it gives me. Having said that, I run 3 to 4 times a week and I try to push my distances each time. Having an attainable goal means that you can visualise yourself creeping closer to achieving that goal/s.

Realistic – Is your goal to make a million dollars this year when you have a career that pays $40,000? I wish you all the best and I hope sincerely that you achieve that goal but that isn’t very realistic. Your goal needs to be realistic so that you can work harder every day to achieve it. Some one wanting to loose 10 kilos is realistic if they work hard and diet!

Time bound – Under Measurable I specifically said, I am going to run a full marathon in November 2014. This gives my goal a time frame and it allows me to plan how I am going to achieve it i.e. training plans. Ensure that every goal you set is time bound, not only does this give you a measuring tool to see whether you’ve achieved it or not, it allows you to map your plan of attack.

So what goals are you setting in 2014? S.M.A.R.T Goals! Whether you want to improve your business, fitness or any other aspect in your live, follow these principles to maximise your chance for success.

Water Safety these holidays

An empty beach.Water safety. [image source: Sed-Rah-Stock]

As the silly season comes towards the pointy end, it’s important we do not let down our guard when it comes to water safety.Yesterday, my girls were playing in the pool. It was Boxing Day, it was hot and there was a lot going on. Every year we hear about water related deaths around Christmas/NYE time so it is important to maintain awareness around the water at all times.

According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2012, there was a total of 284 drownings. Of this number, 21 deaths were children aged 0-4 and 13 deaths were children aged 5-14 years. Drowning deaths occur all year round in Australia however, Summer accounts for 31% of the total number of deaths followed by Autumn 26%, Spring 23% and Winter 19%.

The report continues to break down how these deaths occurred, unsurprisingly swimming accounts for 19% of the total. What shocked me is that 6% of the deaths related to drowning derives from bathing! This just shows that at all times, we as parents, need to maintain our vigilance when it comes to water safety.

Teaching kids how to swim is extremely important, but you all knew that. But something that happened yesterday re-enforced that to me.

Miss 2 was floating around in the blow up ring with her Nanna when she was eager to swim like the big kids. She hasn’t had any formal swimming lessons yet but has grown up around the water so she isn’t unfamiliar in that environment but she still can’t swim.

Imagine if for a second we had turned our backs?

She could have slipped through the ring and the worst possible outcome may have occurred. It is imperative that we watch our kids around water, no matter where they are, bath, pool, beach or lake.

Ensuring water safety should be at the top of your list these holidays!

Please, let me poo in private!

Just once, in my own home please kids, let me poo in private.

[image source:]

I thought I had snuck away for 10 minutes of silence. I closed the bedroom door quietly so that I wouldn’t make my chasers aware of my location. I slid the bathroom door shut as I thought to myself “yes, I’ve made it!”. I settled in, retrieved my handy mobile phone for a session of Angry Birds – Star wars 2. But the silence was soon broken. I heard the door creak open in the bedroom, so I quickly turned the noise off my phone.“Maybe they didn’t hear me” I thought.

I was wrong.

Next was the bathroom sliding door, and from behind it came Miss 2, “Daddy, I want some milk”. Followed by Miss 7, “Daddy, are you doing a poo?”. Damn it, I just wanted 10 minutes peace and quiet to go about my business!

Part of me expected the baby to come crawling in. Or the cat. He doesn’t like to miss out on any action.

It’s a known fact that once you have kids, privacy goes out the window. Little did I know four years ago that I’d be sitting on the throne with a two year old having a full blown conversation with me.

But how can we parents find the privacy we so desire? Lock the door?

I did that once, those little fingers are amazing at picking locks.

Here in our household we share taking time out. I like to run, so each day for about an hour I leave the house and just run. It gets me away from the grind of being a parent and let’s me unwind. My wife, likes to go out for coffee, alone.

It’s not that we don’t love our kids, it’s that we as humans sometimes need some respite from constantly chasing after a 9 month old and making sure she hasn’t got dog biscuits in her mouth, or trying to toilet train the 2 year old.

[image source:]

We all need space, some people more than others.I want to hear your tips and tricks for having some alone time. Do you go to the gym to get away from it all? Let me know in the comments below.

It’s about making time – Operation Move

Join Operation MOVE today.

I recently wrote a guest post about making time for fitness and I was lucky enough to have this posted by Kate from Operation MOVE.

Kate established Operation MOVE originally on her own blog, Kate says stuff. However, after it gained some interest she decided it was time to build a community around this concept and since then Operation MOVE has been going from strength to strength.

What is Operation Move?

Operation Move is a way to challenge yourself to get moving, in a supportive and motivating environment.

Featured on Operation MOVE are several categories designed to inspire, encourage and motivate you to increase your fitness. Alongside these topics, there is a forum that allows users to connect with each other through common goals such as, completing a half marathon, completing a full marathon and triathlon training.

Kate is extremely proud that after last count, Operation MOVE members had logged over 1,000 minutes of training together. You can join Operation MOVE for free and even join the group on Strava to compete against and motivate other members.

You can read my guest post on Operation MOVE here.

Product review – Justice Professional Hair Care

A line up of the Justice Professional Hair care products

A line up of the Justice Professional Hair care products

The Justice Professional Hair care products

Recently, I was sent a few samples of the Justice hair care product line up for a review. This is the first official review that I have done on my blog so I hope that you all find it useful.

Speaking as someone who is loosing my hair, (probably due to the stresses of having 3 lovely daughters) I found it ironic that I give a review. I received a shampoo and conditioner in the flavour of Cool Mint and tube of the Firm Gel. Now, like I said, I am loosing my hair and it is receding at a great rate of knots but this stuff brought my hair to life.

The cool mint flavour of the shampoo was invigorating and combined with the conditioner left my head with a tingling sensation. Made in Spain using Kola Nut extract and peppermint leaves, it helps deliver a experience that I have never felt before with the standard generic brand shampoo.

When it came to using the hair Firm Gel (hold factor of 8), it was another great experience. I don’t do a whole lot with my hair but this provided the necessary hold to keep my hair styled for the day. Best thing about this product is that it didn’t leave my hair feeling oily or greasy, a feeling that can really put me off using styling products. The unique formula enables the user to get that ‘wet look’ that is desired when styling your hair.

All in all, I feel that the Justice Professional Hair products were great to use and I will definitely continue to use them into the future.

You can purchase the Justice Professional product line from your local Just Cuts and online at

Have a product that you’d like me to review? Feel free to email me!

How much is too much at Christmas?

Year after year, I watch my friends and friends of friends upload pictures of the presents under their trees. Some have a few to cover the ground underneath the tree and some have an entire room filled.Then the talk of how much we spent starts, $300 to $3,000 is from last years discussion. But how much is too much?

We tend to spend between $300 to $500 for all three kids. $500 being we have had some massive requests, like a bike. For us, we like to buy gifts that can be shared, or toys that the girls can sit down and play with each other for at least a month after Christmas.

But I can not understand why you would spend $3,000, sometimes more, on Christmas gifts for your two children? That’s $1,500 each!

I have to wonder about the implications that this would instil in the children. What are their expectations going to be like in later life? But what I also wonder is, what could your child possible “need” that would drive you to spend $3,000 at Christmas.

I grew up going to a Catholic school, where I was taught Christmas was about giving. Now, I am no saint and I could certainly improve in the area of giving but I personally think some people have lost the sight of Christmas. Shouldn’t we focus less on what we teach our children about receiving at Christmas and a little more about giving and sharing the holiday season with our family.

Christmas this year is very special for my family, it is the first Christmas as a married couple and our third daughter’s first Christmas. So maybe this year, we should all focus a little less on how much we spend on presents and focus a little more on how much time we spend with our families.

[Part two] Great gift ideas for Dad this Christmas

Welcome back to your one stop shop when it comes to gift ideas for Dad this Christmas.

In part one we had suggestions such as bluetooth gloves, like a boss aprons and even a fitbit to keep track of those calories over the silly season (for some calorie busting tips see my 3 simple steps for staying fit these holidays). In the second part of the series, I’ll cover some more expensive items if your budget is a little bigger than mine.

Buy Dad a GoPro this christmas

GoPro Hero 3 Black edition [image source: CNet]

Dad like to get outdoors?Well get him the new GoPro Hero 3! Just released in time for Christmas is the Hero 3 Black edition. Starting at $399 online, the GoPro (as stated on their website) has started a revolution with small cameras that are versatile and can be fitted to a multitude of different devices, such as bike helmets, surfboards and snowboards. Along with the actual camera, there is up to 18 official harnesses and mounts that Dad can purchase for any kind of situation.

Is Dad a bit of a chef?

Buy Dad Heston Blumenthal's new book this Christmas

Heston Blumenthal’s At Home is the perfect gift idea for the culinary challenged Dad. [image source: Amazon]

Heston Blumenthal, one of the most celebrated celebrity chefs has released a new book that will surely get Dad’s taste buds jumping. At Home, helps Dad develop those techniques that will have him cooking skills like Heston in no time. It covers topics like, proper care for meat, taste and flavor, stocks and infusing and of course many dishes that Dad can use all his new found skills to create. You can pick up Heston’s new book from any good book store or from Amazon for $40

Dad collecting too many books?

The kindle is a great Christmas gift for Dads who love reading!

Dad enjoys reading? Buy him a Kindle! [image source: Amazon]Dad collecting too many books?

Get him a Kindle! Amazon’s Kindle new paper white device, is claimed to be one of the best e-readers currently available on the market. It boasts a huge battery life claiming that a single charge will last Dad up to 8 weeks! But the best thing, if your dad is anything like me and he collects books, the kindle paper white carries up to 1,100 books! That should keep dad going for a while! So what is it going to sting you? One payment of $139! None of these gift ideas suit your Dad? 

Red Balloon offers great packages for most exciting experiences

None of my suggestions suit your Dad? Give an experience!


Well no need to worry, I still have one great idea for you. A Red Balloon experience. From V8 experiences to sky diving to a wine cruise. Red Balloon has it all and best of all, Dad can pick exactly what he wants to do. The gift certificates from Red Balloon are valid for 12 months so that gives Dad plenty of time to make a decision and at the moment you can get free voucher delivery until the 18 December.Vouchers start at $25 and max out at $1,000. So I guess the next question is, how much do you love Dad?

There you have it folks, some more great gift ideas for Dad this Christmas. Do you have any other great gift ideas for Dad this Christmas? Let me know on the Facebook page.

3 simple steps for staying fit these holidays

We all know how it goes. “I’m on holidays”, “It’s okay, I’ll start the diet in the new year”. I’m the worst for that stuff. Every year I fall off the wagon two days into the silly season. Well not this year, oh no. I’m going to be training no matter what, even if I am hungover. Besides, if Fast Lane Dad can run his fitness regime over the holidays I can too.

But how am I going to do it? Yes there will be a few curls (beer curls) involved but most importantly I’ll be focusing on cardio to burn off that extra serve of pudding and ice cream I am more than certainly going to demolish.

However, I know that you are going to want to join me in my holiday fitness so here are a few “fun” exercises that I’ll be doing to keep on top of that waistline.

1. Morning run/swim/ride- Yes, that is when all of our heads are going to hurt the most but getting out in the fresh air first thing helps clear the mind and gets those wonderful endorphins running and sets us up for the rest of the day.

2. Use the kids as fitness equipment – Kids make great light weights for heaps of reps. I use my daughters sitting on my back while I do push ups. I also use them for leg raises. Lay on you back, let your little weight lay on your legs and hold on, raise your legs up and down until your abs burn and can not go any more.

3. Box jumps – I am sure if your household is anything like mine you will have a tonne of boxes laying around from opened toys. Lay one of these on the ground in an open area, stand to one side, and then jump over the box to the other, repeat until knackered.

There you have it folks. Three simple steps that can help burn some extra calories this holiday season to make room for that tasty christmas dessert.

Moving on from the holiday season, I am going to be starting a new blog series that will run from now until the 1st of November 2014. It is called, “I’m going to run a marathon”. It will run right up until I complete the 42.2km marathon at Carcoar cup located in Carcoar NSW. In this series I am going to be documenting my training, nutrition and struggles leading up to the big race. I would love for you to join me on my journey and if this is something that you have wanted to do, let’s do it together.

Have I taken on too much?

Taking on too many tasks for the good of my family.

Image source:

This post is in collaboration with Yes Loans. Their ease and speed when it comes to personal loans is unmatched and that is the sort of support that any busy person needs

In my quest to become location and financially independent so that our family can do what we want, when we want, I think I may have taken on too much and it’s piling up.

At the moment, I’m studying for exams at university, trying to building a training program, managing social media for two clients, writing in blogs, recording a podcast, being a husband and being a father.

It’s a lot.

Sometimes I just find myself needed to sit there and watch the TV, listening to the random advertisements like the latest Voice update, wondering, is it all too much?

I know that the reward for all of this will pay off in the end. I just need to keep my focus and keep the reasons why I am doing all of it at the forefront of my mind.

This is for my family and my kids so that I can spend every day with them and watch them grow up.

There are lots of people who miss out on this. I wasn’t one of those children and I was truly blessed to have my parents at all my big sporting events or school functions. I want to be able to give that to my kids also. I want to be the dad who is there on sports day, who is there for every birthday. I’m gonna buy the Skyward Summit, an outdoor playhouse for kids, which has shape of mountain. You can check review about it at here!

I have missed the last 3 birthdays of my 7 year old because of work. 

I don’t want that anymore. I also want to help people who are in the same boat and I am sure there is a lot of us.

A Letter to my Future Wife – Why we don’t need more children

Dear Christine,


I would like to take this opportunity to address your recent blog post regarding the possibility of having a fourth child.


First let me state that I love you and the girls incredibly but this has to stop. Let me start by addressing a few points that I think should change your mind.


1.     My blog is called “raising3daughters” not “raising4children”. Now I say children because if it so happened that we had a fourth child, it would have to be a boy. No God would be that cruel and make me the father to four daughters.


2.     At our last ultrasound with Miss 0.5, the sonographer told us the odds of having a boy, 17%!!. If you wonder why I don’t want to have another girl, please refer to my next point.


3.    In your recent post, you talk about the average cost of weddings being $45,000. Now, if we assume that the economy continues to grow at 3%, in 25 years that would equal approximately $79,000. Now if we multiply that number by 4, $316,000!!!! However if we stick with the 3 we have now, it brings the price down to approximately $237,000. Bearable I guess, better keep working on that passive income stream!


4.    This is a direct quote from your latest post, “I HATE being pregnant”. Do I need to say more? I won’t mention the complaining!


5.    I DO NOT want to drive a Honda Odyssey. As much as our best friend would love to see us buy one, I have no intention of buying a family wagon.


6.    Four school lunches to pack, four uniforms to wash, four pairs of school shoes to buy and four teenage girls to deal with while I deploy.


7.    Think of your sanity! Between, Jake and the Neverland pirates, Pepper Pig, In the night garden and Dora the Explorer we struggle to keep our sanity now. Imagine having to go around the bouy and do it all again with another child!


8.    I’ll make this my final point because I don’t think I need to say more. If we were to have another child, imagine the lack of space left for us in our bed on those early Sunday mornings, it’s already cramped in that cheap king sized bunk beds!


Now surely you’ve seen some logic in my arguments and we can put this discussion to rest.


I love you.


Your future husband.

One of the best Australian Dad Blogs, sharing stories of my trials and tribulations of raising girls in Australia.

Source of image is

Pursue excellence. [source= unsplash]

 For the longest time I’ve been searching for one of my passions that I could develop into a business venture. I believe that to be successful you need to be passionate but I don’t have a clue which passion to pursue.

Leadership, motivation, family and the internet (everything on the internet is GREAT), these are a few of my favourite things. For the longest time I’ve been looking for additional projects for my spare time and something that my partner and I can both work on together. But I’ve been on struggle street for ideas on what I/we can do.

I listen to a lot of podcasts to try and help get my creative juices flowing. The Smart Passive Income podcast is one of my favourites. Pat Flynn is an inspiration to thousands of people around the globe. To me, he inspires me to set up a diversified, valuable business that provides benefit to others. I want to better the world, one person at a time.

That is why I started this blog. Not to make money, not to become famous but I thought if I could some how better someone’s life, somewhere, then I would have achieved my mission. Sharing my stories about parenting and being a father is incredibly rewarding and it has led me to meet some great people right around the world.

In particular, the blokes from the group of Australian Dad Bloggers. I originally approached the group in the hope of writing a guest post but what I got was a group of blokes who I can bounce any idea off and blokes who help me better my writing. These blokes are helping me figure out what my passion is and hopefully you’ll be able to see that in my writing in the future, but I’d like to take a minute to shout out to these great guys;

Aussie Daddy Bloggers
The Illiterate Infant
Fast Lane Dad
Mr Palindrome
Big Family, Little Income
3AM Dad
Dad Rites
Being A Dad
Tork’s Blog
Reservoir Dad
Dad Down Under
The 40 Year Old Dad
A Working Dad Production
Kangaroo Dad
Memoirs Of The Mind

If you are looking for great stories and posts, have a read of these blogs. Make sure you share this post as much as you can to give love to all these great dads.

Want to know what resources I find most useful for blogging? Sign up to my email list now and receive an exclusive email with all my favourite resources and more!

New Music – Mashup Jason Derulo “TALK DIRTY” vs Blackstreet “NO DIGGITY”

I heard this mashup on the drive home the other week and loved it.

If you reckon this mashup rocks send some love to DJ Konsky on twitter.

Tips: Fitting in after working away from family

Working away from family

Working away from family

Working away from family is incredibly tough. I’ve spent lots of time away in the past, here’s how I fit back in. [image source: Royal Australian Navy]

 I’ve spent a large portion of the last 5 years of my working life away from home. From 1 day to 5 months, it doesn’t get easier working away from family despite what you might think.5 months away from home is a long time to be working away from family. Fortunately enough this was before the birth of my last two children. Miss 7 was around then but her mother and I had just starting dating. Never the less, spending time away from home is tough and I personally feel it gets tougher as your kids grow up.

I believe this is the case because they start to get involved in new activities other than cry and wiggle around on the floor. I was lucky enough growing up that my Dad was able to make it to most of my school carnivals, football games and swim meets. I always knew I could look to the bleachers and see him there. But here I am, spending months on months away from home and then coming home and struggling to fit back into the family’s routines.

Routine is good, routine is safe and it makes the time fly (at least for me it does). Remove yourself from your family’s routine for a few months and suddenly fitting in becomes harder than ever. They have the morning routine before school, routines for after school activities and even bath time. Finding out where you can fit back in can be difficult but here are a few tips that I use to get back into the rhythm of my family’s day to day life;

  1. Get involved. You are not going to get back into their lives standing on the sidelines whinging about how you aren’t involved. ‘Get amongst it son’ and help out. After school runs to the dance class or footy training is a great place to start and you get an extra few minutes in the car to talk about how your child’s day has been.
  2. Stay in touch with what is changing back home. It’s hard being away but talking about what is happening at home, routines etc, helps you get your head around it early. Meaning you can jump straight in and give that helping hand to your partner. Get a head start and ask your partner what their routine is like for this day and that day and you’ll be laughing.
  3. Create new routines (within reason). Don’t come along and decide that you are going to take the family for a walk at 5 o’clock at night when that is normally feeding time in the family zoo. Talk with your partner about how you want to get involved “I wouldn’t mind taking Bobby to the park and kicking the footy around this afternoon”.

You will probably have to go back to work at some stage so don’t start making up grand plans when you are going to head back to the grind stone. It is however, essential to dive head first into it all and acclimatise back to normal life.

I’ve said it before, talking about these situations will only benefit you in the long run. Being open about what you are feeling with your partner will not only help them understand what you are going through but will help you gauge what he/she wants from you.

So what are you waiting for? Take the bull by the horns and find ways to get back into your family’s routines.

Search for the best cake in Canberra

I’m looking for the best cakes in Canberra.

This morning we went to Ricardo’s Cafe in Jamison. This is what we ate

The Opera, Magnum and macaroons (Strawberry and Chocolate).

The Opera, Magnum and macaroons (Strawberry and Chocolate).

The Opera as quoted from their website is “Made with layers of almond sponge soaked in coffee, layered ganache, coffee butter cream & covered in chocolate glaze”. I score it a 8/10. This coffee was subtle and yet provided that boost to the flavour that left you wanting more.

The Magnum, a “Vanilla bean mousse, salted caramel center coated in almonds dipped in chocolate sprayed in gold” was to die for. I give it a 9/10. This mousse was light and fluffy and complemented the chocolate perfectly.

The best part about Ricardo’s, you can order online!!

Head to Ricardo’s site to place your order and make sure you send me some!

Mashup Saturday

image source: mixes and mashups soundcloud profile

It’s Federal election day here in Australia but that is the last thing I am thinking about.

I’m on a search, for new music for the gym. I refer to soundcloud for some inspiration. After spending a while searching for some great new mashup tunes for the gym, I came across these little gems!



Let me know what you think!

Family Traditions

Fathers day, kids, daddy blogger,

Fathers day, kids, daddy blogger,

Watching movies on the couch!

Recently my Fiancé and I started a couple of new family traditions. We felt it was important to start some meaningful activities noting how much time I’ve been absent from our daughters lives. 

We are a really close family, from my grandparents down to my daughters. Having recently moved to Canberra from WA, where we left the majority of our family, we’ve begun to value the time that we spend together that little bit more. We have our traditions, birthday’s and other special days, but as an immediate family we are yet to establish those special times together.

I was lucky enough to get some time off work to get home for fathers day this year. Saturday night I put on a movie, we all brought out our blankets and sat on the floor and watched movies and ate popcorn. To me, life was perfect. We had each other, I didn’t have to be thinking about work, the kids were happy and we had popcorn (my vice).

This got my fiance and I talking about starting some family traditions, Sunday dinners, movies nights and even dad dates. My career as a military officer means I spend a large amount of time away from my family which also means I treasure those weekends at home just that little bit more. Time away is hard, even a few days, but it is important to have traditions that we can all get together and take part.

If you Google family traditions, there are pages on pages about starting traditions, from Saturday mornings in wooden bunk beds to a birthday hat. Family traditions don’t have to be extreme but it’s important to have something that you all do together, especially in today’s fast paced society.

Sure my 6 month old daughter probably won’t remember starting these traditions, but we’ll keep them going whilst they grow up and hopefully one day I’ll do the same with my grand kids. So what are you waiting for? go and start a new tradition today!

I want to hear about your traditions. Let me know in the comment section below.

Living away from your family

Living away from your family is tough

Source: Flickr user juliaarielle

It’s been a long four weeks, but I’ve got through it and managed to see my girls. I talk about how living away from your family can bring up all sorts of emotions and how I dealt with mine.

In case you just came across my blog, I’ve been away from society on a work course for the last four weeks. During this time, I’ve had limited contact with my family, a phone call once a week and an email here and there. I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough.

Now I’ve spent alot of time away from home in the past for work, sometimes up to 6 months at a time. But something was different this time, I found it incredibly harder. Maybe this was because I had promised Miss 7 earlier in the year that I’d be home for her birthday for the first time in about 4 years. Not only was she upset but I too was incredibly emotional and considered pulling the pin on this course but I stayed the course.

I kept reminding myself why I was there. I was there to provide a better life for my family and to better my career. But it wasn’t easy, it was far from it. Dealing with those types of emotions is something that I haven’t dealt with for a long time and I was unsure on how to get through it.

I turned to the Chaplain for some advice, “How can I get through this?”. He suggested I countdown the days left until I see them on paper so I could physically see how long was remaining. I also wrote about my feelings and how much I missed my family. I didn’t have a computer so I used this thing called a notebook?? But it helped. I didn’t want to talk to my class mates about these emotions, I’d just met them and didn’t want to share my personal issues with them just yet.

Emotions are difficult things for us humans to deal with, especially us “manly men”. But it is important, I feel, to deal with them rather than let them build up. I think if I had let mine build up I would have imploded, left this course and potentially ruined my career that I have worked incredibly hard on for the past 5 years.

Have you been in a similar situation and struggled? Join the conservation below and let me know how you’ve got through it.

A woman never farts

But my 2 year old drops it like it’s hot

Raising kids, daughter,

Women don’t fart, or do they?

Talk about flatulence, this girl knows how to roll with the best of us.

I don’t know what does it, maybe it’s her diet. Maybe she thinks it funny. Wait, I know she thinks it funny because she laughs every time she drops one out.

Although she drops farts that would rival my Grandfather, she is particular good with using her manners. Every time she passes wind she says with her cute little husky voice “cuse me”. You can’t help but dismiss the disgusting smell wafting skyward and smile and congratulate her on using such good manners.

Are manners a thing of the past? I know that I teach my daughters that manners are a must. Sure, there are times that we can muck around and have a bit of fun but in public we must be on our best behaviour and use our manners. It is important to me that they be respectful to others and treat other how they want to be treated. To me, it’s common courtesy to use your manners. Hell even if I don’t like someone I will try and be polite, sometimes annoyingly so.

Do your kids have any “funny” habits? Let me know in the comment section below. While your here, be sure to subscribe to receive my ebook when it launches. You can sign up here.