Stay at Home Mum’s apparently don’t raise successful children!

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Where do I start with this??  I am writing about this because it really pisses me off, and it’s something that has irritated me for a while. How it all started, well you see a year ago I read an article (I wish I didn’t) which stated that a study was conducted by the Harvard Business school, which found, “According to a working paper (pdf) published June 19 by the Harvard Business School, daughters of working mothers are more likely to be employed, hold supervisory positions, and earn more money than the daughters of women who don’t work outside the home. The researchers also found a statistically significant effect on the sons of working women, who are likely to spend more time caring for family members and doing household chores than are the sons of stay-at-home mothers.” quote as per the article.  Well I’m calling it BULLSHIT!!!!

I read the article (which you can find here), and at the time of reading it I swore a lot.  After a week or two I forgot about it, but what I have found over this past year is that whatever crap that I read in that article must have gotten ingrained in my brain because every now and again, it rears its ugly head just out of the blue and can be triggered by anything, whether, it’s about school stuff, or career and work stuff that I hear about on the news, this article pops up in my head.  I then have about 5 seconds where I feel guilty about being a stay at home mum and then I snap out of it and give the thought the big F you!

I had a successful career and loved working, I even studied whilst pregnant with both girls, but I chose to be a stay at home mum whilst my girls are still young so I can be around for them, and I will return to the working world one day.  I don’t sit on my arse and do nothing all day, being at stay at home mum is a full-time job! Between, making sure the house is cleaned, everyone has clean clothes to wear, there is a cooked meal for everyone, bills are paid, after school activities are scheduled in, parent help at school is done, and the list goes on.  We all read the articles, seen stuff on social media.  But whether you are a working mum, stay at home mum, single mum, or whatever mum, does it really influence how successful our children will be?  We all want the same thing for our children to be happy and follow a path in life that they get the most joy out of.

How do you measure successful?  Is it still like the old days where you are judged by how many letters you have after your name?  Or how much money you have in  your bank account?  I grew up with my mum being a stay at home mum and when we started high school, she started work and now living in New Zealand she has a very successful job.  My mum has taught us what hard work is, how to be smart with money and budget and being able to run a whole house, how to look at bills and work out what’s going on and the hidden costs of things. She has taught us how to make the best lemonade when life threw us lemons! It’s the same things I teach my girls now. I also make a note to let my girls know that, no mummy does not sit at home and watch TV all day I’m working too.

The freaking pressure from society these days is just ridiculous, there is guilt if you are a mum that works full-time (I salute you), there is guilt if you a mum that decides to stay at home, there are stay at home dad’s too (high-five dad’s),  there is probably guilt around that too!  But it is choices we all make and it’s the best for our families, and how successful our children are does not have anything to do whether we leave the house to go to work! It’s what we teach them and the values that they are brought up with.

So if anyone thinks that stay at home mum’s don’t raise successful children, then you are just plain stupid, and unfortunately,  you can’t fix stupid!

Peace out!

Ronell x

 

 

Going to the Cinema Breaks the Bank

Popcorn and tickets
A costly excursion!

Once upon a time going to the cinemas to watch your favourite movie was affordable.  My husband and I don’t go out to clubs etc, we have passed our use by date for that, however, we do love going out for dinner and the movies, we are both movie buffs!  Add kids to the mix and boy does the price these days to go and watch a movie starts to soar.I am constantly on the look out for deals and movie coupons. I am a member of both reward programs through Event Cinemas and Hoyts Cinemas. Yep try to save where I can.

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Yesterday I took my two girls to watch Pete’s Dragon, which by the way was amazing loved every bit of it, and the girls now want a dragon!  I booked on a Tuesday thinking cheap Tuesday wont be too bad, well hello, tickets for the 3 of us which I purchased online cost me $40.10, to which they added a stupid booking fee to each ticket!  I had some points I could have used towards the tickets but I thought I will use them towards our popcorn.

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Well that didn’t quite workout, I found out yesterday there is a difference between the two cinema’s reward program as I foolishly tried to use my points for our popcorn, yes both offer points that you can accumulate to get free tickets, but with Event Cinemas you can only use your points towards tickets, where as with Hoyts cinemas reward program you can use your points towards tickets and popcorn, drinks etc.  So 3 small popcorns cost me $19.50, so there you go in total it cost the 3 of us going on a Tuesday $59.60 to be exact!  If this was on a normal day and all four of us went as a family well that would be close to $100.  Thank god I carried some lollies in my bag.

The thing is I could sneak in my popcorn from home but I love hot popcorn with butter at the movies, but why they need to charge so much I have no idea.  Popcorn kernels are not expensive and the way they charge for it, well the machines (not even people) that pops it is probably paid off, so really what’s the deal?  I can see now why so many people just take their own snacks in.

The price is obviously not going to stop me from going to the movies because we love it, but I need to be smarter about it and try to save where I can a $1 here and there eventually all adds up!

Ronell

 

 

 

Korovuto Primary School Tour

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On our last day in Fiji, we booked our family to do a school tour which is run by the Radisson Blu Resort.  It was such an eye opener especially for the girls and for some of the adults too.  The school we were visiting (they change each time to a different school) was Korovuto Primary School. To be honest some of the features of the school is close to home for me because some of the schools I went to in South Africa were very similar.  When we visited Nadi Town, we picked up some stationery supplies to take over with us on the tour to hand over to the school.  It’s much cheaper doing it that way than buying through the resort.

A bit about the Adopt a School Programme that the resort runs.  The programme is run voluntarily by the resort and they assist local schools and are currently help 21+ schools.  They raise funds through guest donations, the resort’s weekly Duck Derby & Frog racing.  All funds go 100% to the schools.  The cost of the tour is $10FJ per head.  The great thing about this tour is, you don’t have to be a guest at the Radisson Blu to go on it, even if you are staying at other resorts, you can head over to the Radisson Blu and book a spot on the bus, the tour runs every Friday.  They use the money to help with getting computers to the school, setting up libraries which they have set up 20 to date, cleaner and more hygienic toilet blocks, fixing leaking roofs so kids don’t have to sit in wet classrooms.  The principal of Korovuto Primary was very proud to show us the computers and the library that was set up for the students all from guest donations, and it was still so small compared to that of our schools, but for them it was the bees knees!

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All the families in our group gave the school stationery donations, as well as monetary donations once we got back to the resort, after seeing the school it’s not hard to donate. These kids were so excited to come and collect all the packs.

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Each family were given a tour of all the classrooms and schools by prefects.  Our prefects were Ria and Raina, who were so lovely and polite. Below are some photos from just around the school.  At the time a lot of the kids were sitting external exams or preparing for them and they start from as young as 11 when they have to sit the exams.  Very similar to my days in primary school, we started exams from age 10.

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Corridor in the school, each class outside is personalised.

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The kids were so happy to welcome us into their classrooms, and the teachers spoke to us about what they were learning etc, I felt a bit bad about disturbing their learning time however all the teachers were so hospitable.  At the time of our visit the school had no power due the workman carrying out repairs on the power cables, which meant the fans in the classrooms were not working either, it was a pretty hot day!  The school runs on tank water as well.

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The school is very spread out and is the 3rd largest primary school in Nadi, however with the growing number of kids they now have started to use some of the classrooms at the college which is in the same grounds.

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This class had the right idea, they were doing their work under a massive mango tree, and Kiara got right in there with the kids and had a look at what they were learning, on a side note I was tempted to climb the tree and get some mangoes!!!

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After looking through the school, we were treated to some drinks and the kids put on a little dance for us to, which was lovely but it was so hot and they still danced in the heat!

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As a family we absolutely loved the tour and both girls enjoyed meeting with the local kids and getting right into things talking with the kids. It was a highlight of our holiday for sure.

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Our family with Ria and Raina

If you are going to Fiji I would highly recommend going on the school tour.  You just get so much out of it, especially the kids.  If you want to keep updated with the Adopt a School Programme and see how the donations are helping these schools you can check out their Facebook Page here.

Ronell x

 

 

Nadi Town – The Real Fiji

Once you go over the bridge at Denarau, you leave behind the manicured gardens, pristine pools and resort life. You get a taste of what the other side of Fiji looks like. 

We caught the yellow $1 bus into Nadi town which is super convenient. Driving along the roads you get to see how many of the villagers live. Some houses don’t even have electricity. 


Once we got to the bus depot it was a bit of a shock to the system just how dilapidated everything is. As soon as we got off the bus one of the local ladies knew we were tourists. I could have blended in like a local since being Indian but being with Adam yeah that was a sure give away. 

She gave us a few quick tips and then said, “how about I show you were the real native markets are!” I just thought to myself oh crap now what. 

She showed us the water levels of the recent cyclone and where it reached and how some shops had to now move to higher ground. 


The water level was pretty high I’m sure most of the town would have been almost under water! It’s good to see the town still up and running now. 

To get to this market you had to go up an alley and some stairs. At this moment I’m still thinking oh crap were the hell are we being taken. 

We went up to the native market were we treated to a traditional Fiji welcome and even had some Kava to drink. Which has an interesting taste more like sandy water to me. But after about 5 minutes your mouth starts to tingle. 


We managed to get a few souvenirs to take back home and they were so honest about it all and us negotiating a deal instead of them being all sneaky. After this I started to relax a bit I’m not sure why I was feeling uneasy maybe I judged it all by the way everything looked. But truly they are some of the friendliest people around and always happy to help when we needed a bit of direction. 


We made our way to the fruit markets to get a few supplies to take back with us and it was amazing seeing all the fresh produce and spices. 


We were at the town centre when school finished and the whole town came alive with kids every where alot of them heading towards the bus depot to get home. 

Visiting the town was quite an eye opener and showed us how we shouldn’t take what we have for granted and how our kids and ourselves should appreciate what we have. 

Everywhere I looked though the Fijian people always had smiles on their faces or you will find a group of people sitting under trees laughing and relaxing in true Fijian style. 

Glad we ventured out and experienced a different side to Fiji. 

Ronell x

Day 2 in Fiji

Okay so I won’t bore you with the usual morning routine that’s pretty much the same everyday though I would like to point out I find myself sitting poolside and it’s like I’m in the middle of filming a scene from Shahs of Sunset!!!! Wtf should I have carried my mascara??? I didn’t because I didn’t want to end up looking like Kung Fu Panda in the pool or couldn’t be arsed taking off loads of makeup before bed. Lippy is all I need. 


Couple of highlights of day 2, one of which was reuniting with my wonderful friend and her family after 6 years, we worked together back when I lived in Sydney. It was like old times again, loved it. After our lunch catch up, you know what time it was, kids club…yesss!!!


The other highlight was Adam and I treated ourselves to a 1 hour couples tropical massage which included a bonus 20 min head and scalp massage. Thank you I’ll take that. 


The only thing I find about massages being a women is trying to get comfortable lying down when you have big boobs! Geez trying to push and prod them into place is quite a job, oh and once you lying there waiting you get the towel tucked into your underwear and they pull it down so half your bum crack is showing! Omg I get so embarrassed and feel a bit violated. This feeling soon passes once the massage starts! The massage was amazing I was in pure Fiji heaven and the head massage even better except I think they used about half a litre of oil in my hair. Even after washing my hair I couldn’t get it all out! All worth it though for an hour and 20 minutes of bliss. 


No stroll along the beach is complete without a selfie! 


Dinner was at Chantara Thai which is part of the Radisson Blu resort. I’m sad to say I was fairly disappointed. The kids meals are really small portions. We got the tempura prawns for starters to share. I ordered the Thai Beef Salad. I was expecting the beef to be warm but it was cold! It didn’t come with any salad ingredients as such except for mint and red onion. The dressing was delicious and there was plenty of meat but all this salad left me with was onion breath for the rest of the night. Not good. Adam ordered a pork dish which was yum! 



We finished of the night on a high with an amazing dance and fire show. These guys have rhythm and can bust a move! Loved it. 


Bula Vanaka from Fiji! 

Bula! Day 1 of our Fiji Holiday


Departing Auckland in the pouring rain was the perfect way to leave and head to sunnier shores! The flight was great not too painful with the kids. We arrived in Nadi around 5pm however getting through customs is always slow and we didn’t actually end up leaving the airport until 7pm!!! We were so tired! 

We checked into our hotel, the Radisson Blu Resort, the same room type as last year we got the suite it just has so much more room. This time however they put in an extra single bed which was great. So we have that bed, the double sleeper couch and another main bedroom. 


After ordering room service and watching a bit of the game it was time to hit the sack. I came prepared with ear plugs and sleeping tablets, but let me tell you that stuff didn’t do jack shit when it came to my husbands snoring!!!! 

The girls were up early God dammit!!! Don’t they know we are on Fiji time now. I love the buffet breakfast at the resort especially the fruit. It’s the best part about these tropical islands are the fruit! 


We then spent most of the morning at the pools just swimming and going down the hydroslides. I must say it was so good to see so many mums in the pools with their kids. Usually you see a lot of the mums chilling on sidelines which is all good cause I do that sometimes too but to see most of the people in the water was great! After lunch it was time to check the girls into kids club. Whoop whoop we get a bit of adult time and they get to make new friends and have a blast. Kids club is the best idea ever! Our girls go from 2-5pm! We drop and run! 


With the girls in kids club, you know what time it was cocktail time 🍹We went to the shop to get a few supplies (not for the cocktails) then we headed down to the adults only pool area and did nothing! Except have a cocktail. 


 Being on Denarau there are so many food options so for dinner we headed to Mamacitas Mexican restaurant which is part of the Wyndham Resort. We love it there and the food is amazing! 


I was not risking having another sleepless night so we did a bit of musical beds and everyone had a great sleep!

Til next time x

My Little Scientist


As part of Kiara’s school project for her her enquiry this term she chose Material World. 

After much deliberation and brainstorming we came up with a project. This is something that can easily be done at home with your kids during the school holidays. It’s so much fun, however be warned your house will smell like someone has very bad gas, please don’t invite anyone over at that time. 

You will need to buy a red cabbage, slice that up and put it in a pot with water and bring to the boil. Keep this going for a while to really get that colour out. Strain the juice into a jug. 

Pour the juice into a few glasses or plastic cups and then let the testing begin. You can use general household items. Try out vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, washing powder, green tea, ect just keep adding these to the juice and watch the colour change! Let the kids go crazy and experiment with all sorts of things. Parent supervision is advised. 

Have fun x