Oh, hi.

Sailing

So, it’s been a while. Is this awkward? I think we’re all ok with this, right? Ok, let’s move on…

Apparently teaching four days a week while parenting two kids of my own plus {allegedly} running a household and sometimes, occasionally spending time with my husband… not to mention friends and family… well, it’s A LOT. It doesn’t leave much time for hobbies. Hobbies like writing a blog.

TBH for a while I just kinda didn’t feel like doing it so much. The blogging. Then I felt like doing it but got distracted. Then I REALLY felt like doing it but I wasn’t sure how to jump back in. I’ve been toying with ideas for months.

One of the main reasons, aside from time, that I haven’t written any blog posts is because I want to take the blog in a new direction. A direction that I’m scared of and worry about being judged on. Then the other day I had a conversation with a colleague and we were talking about … stuff. Like the meaning of life and giving too many of these. Ultimately, do I want to look back on this time and say “I could have… “, “I should have … “, “I was gonna…”. Nope.

So here it is. Over the next {insert random time frame here} I will use this space to reflect, write and share. If you stick around you’ll see more education/school/teacher/student stuff, less Pinterest-pretty stuff, more keepin’ it real/life ain’t perfect stuff. My goals are to:

  • learn
  • create
  • share

If you like the sound of that, then come along for the ride!

Word Clouds

Pebble loves sharing what she’s been learning at school. Lucky for us she has a super awesome teacher who also writes a blog! So we get to read about what’s happening at school, as well as hear it from Pebble. Recently Miss H shared that they had been making word clouds (sometimes called a wordle), and Pebble was keen to make some at home. Pebble used weather words because they’re learning about weather at school.

Weather Word Cloud

You’ll notice that Pebble used her ‘internet’ name, not her real name, in her word cloud. We’ve had lots of discussions about sharing information on the internet and she knows to be careful. She also thinks that her internet name is hilarious!

You can make a word cloud on ABCya! There are lots of features, including layout, colours and fonts, which are all super easy for kids young and old to use.

Why make a word cloud? You can use them to reflecting on learning, as creative writing prompts, for making gifts and much more! I made one for Octavia and Vicky using just the web address. Many word cloud creators let you do this, I used Tagul. How cool is this? I love that ‘Play’ stands out loud and clear.

Octavia and Vicky Wordle

You might have noticed that I’m not writing on Octavia and Vicky as often. I have something to tell you … I’ve been cheating on you! I’ve been writing a class blog, a research blog, a maths blog and have just agreed to contribute to a digital citizenship blog. I’m also still doing the odd contribution to some of my other favourite blogs. Phew! Never fear, I will still be here! Just not as often as you’re used to. You can still follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

Have fun making word clouds! 

Stepping into the unknown

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

Well, hello there! I’ve missed you, dear readers. And I’ve missed THIS. Sitting at my little desk, words flowing from my fingers tips onto a crisp white space on the screen. I’m back! But things will be a little different around here in 2015. I hope you will step with me into the unknown, because I’m still figuring out exactly what ‘different’ looks like.

As my family and life changes this blog will change with it, as it always has. What does that mean right now? For starters, our big girl, Pebble is turning five and starting school. That’s going to be a big adjustment for us as we get used to all that comes with that gig.

Meanwhile Rocky will turn two and continue part-time at his wonderful child care centre, moving into the toddler room where I just know he will have so many adventures. He also gets to spend a day a week with his Grandma and Aunty J, which is very special for him (and them!). Not to mention that I get two days a week to spend with just him. Now that Pebble is off to school I know how fleeting and treasured that time is.

In other news, I’m taking on more teaching time at school. I’m really excited to be teaching with my bestest teaching partner ever (fist bump Mrs O!). We’ll be taking an awesome group of four and five year old kids through their first year at School, learning with them every step of the way.

I’m also taking a step back from everything, just a little, and focusing on doing a bit less. Not stretching myself too thin, ya know? That’s what I like about this quote – it reminds me to slow down, to breathe, to let go of the FOMO.

As for blogging? I’ll be here, but I don’t know how often. I do know that I’ll be here a lot less than I used to be, for the time being. I’ll see you around.

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

In two days I’m going to be on my way to the Gold Coast for my second Problogger conference and I. Can’t. Wait! Last year I came away feeling so inspired and it was just the best feeling ever to give my blogging mates a hug in the flesh. There are even more of my blogging buddies going this year, it’s going to be a lot of fun – and I’m going solo! No kids! Last year I was still breast feeding, so Rocky came along for the ride with Grandma in tow (thank goodness!!!!).

This year I’ll have time and space to really talk to people, I’ll be able to go to the networking events before and after the conference and I’ll get some SLEEP! I’m also feeling really excited about this year because I’ve been putting some time in to ME and finding my own style again, with the help of Nat and Tatum from Make it Look Easy.

I look back at pics from last year and remember how I was lacking in confidence and felt really… mumsy. Of course I felt mumsy – I’m a mum! At the time a breast feeding mum who had to dress to get easy access to her breasts all day and night. I was also carrying a little more baby weight than I am now (let’s just call it baby weight, cos that sounds better than block-of-chocolate-for-lunch weight, mmmmkay?).

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

Meeting Nat and Tatum has helped me focus on positive self talk, feeding myself nourishing foods and, of course, dressing with confidence. Since my wardrobe makeover it’s never been easier for me to get dressed every day. I’m not going to say I don’t have those days where everything in the wardrobe ends up on the floor – I still do. But maybe one or two in the last four months. Not one or two every single week! I’m also learning that it’s not the clothes that are the problem, it’s my mindset. They’re still the same clothes I wore last week, so what’s changed?

Today Nat and Tatum came over to play dress ups with me and pull together some kick arse outfits for Problogger. How cool is that? Packing for Problogger is a bit different to packing for a family holiday. I need outfits to go from day to night and can afford to put a few extras in my suitcase because I’m only packing for me. If you want to read more about how to maximise your wardrobe and minimise what you need to pack then get yourself the ‘How to Pack for New York (in summer)’ ebook. It’s mind blowing. Seriously! I’ll never have a ridiculously full suitcase again.

Here are the outfits that I’m wearing for Problogger this year. I’ll be keeping cool, comfortable and stylish. I just love seeing how Nat and Tatum pull together outfits from my wardrobe. I’m getting so much better at it but I still have a lot to learn (psssst…. have you seen the ‘Be the boss in your own wardrobe’ ecourse?).

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

1. Big W Street sneakers, Katies harm pants, Sportsgirl grey tshirt, Rockman’s jacket (second hand), Serafina necklace.
2. Just Jeans Skinny Crop Ankle Jean, Just Jeans paisley top, Big W sandals, necklace (thanks to Nat for this amazing gift! xxxxxx), assorted bracelets

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

3. Just Jeans boyfriend shorts in rich blue, Jo Mercer booties, Sportsgirl grey-T (yep, I have two!)
4. Katies Blazer,  The Iconic feather print tunic, Betts booties

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

5. Freez Miami shrug, JAG tee, Serafina necklace, Target sandals, Just Jeans skinny crop ankle jean
6. Target blouse, Just Jeans skinny crop ankle jean, Bett’s booties

You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:

Want more inspiration to Make It Look Easy? Sign up for the Make It Look Easy newsletter for a fortnightly dose of awesomeness. 

Vaccination Reminder App and Other Internet Goodies

Want some help to remember those vaccination dates?

Or trick out your blog?

Or figure out the video gadget on Instagram?

Say no more! I’ve got some goodies just for you.

Save the Date to Vaccinate App

Save the Date to Vaccinate

The Save The Date app is a great little tool that helps remind you keep on top of your children’s vaccinations. I need all the help I can get to remember these things! Created by the NSW government, it’s really easy to use and is available for Android or Apple.

8 Simple Tutorials to Enhance Your Blog

8 Simple Tutorials to Enhance Your Blog

I love a bit of blog tweaking and my lovely friend Bekka from Just for Daisy has been busy writing tutorials for doing just that. Follow her instructions for adding a button to your blog, creating social media buttons, adding clickable images tabs in your sidebar and lots more.
How to use instagram video

Instagram Got Video

Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim is great at capturing new social media tricks and reviewing them simply and beautifully. She has done it again with her tips for using the new video feature on Instagram.

Want more internet goodies? Set the kiddies up with some colouring pages, teach them number recognition or automatically back up your mobile phone photos.

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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