I Said Yes to Instagram

My tween who turns 12 in less than a month has been asking to have an Instagram account for a long time, and I mean long!  I always made her work for it, she had to demonstrate being responsible, do her bit at home to help out etc

I have had an Instagram account for a long time, and so she has been watching me use it and it sparked an interest.  I had many talks with her about using Instagram, and that she will only have a private account, this is a MUST! Which means not just anyone can follow her and it has to be approved, she needs to check with us.  If she doesn’t know the person then it’s a big fat NO!!!  We have access to her account at all times.   Many girls her age seem to only post selfies with duck face pouts, I mean come on! A selfie here and there fine but not hundred’s of them.  Anyway thus began our lessons about photos and the purpose of having an Instagram account.

We talked about not posting photos that show any of your bits (if you know what I mean).  In her bio, which anyone can view I didn’t want any info about which school she went to or her date of birth, pretty much no personal info.  When commenting on other post’s only positive comments. Also besides just following friends and families I wanted her to follow some other inspirational accounts, like I am Kid President, Humans of NY, a few of the National Geo accounts for inspiration with travel photos etc

The reason she wanted an Instagram account is because, she wants to take photos of food, places that we visit, hanging out with her friends, dancing, nature etc  So I thought that was cool.  I did say to her that the biggest fear for me was I didn’t want her to see what her friends had and what they did, and to then look at her life and be like, well my life sucks because it’s so boring!  Or if her friends didn’t “like” or “comment” on her photo not to take that to heart.  If she loves taking photos of things that interests her then don’t worry about anyone else.

At the end of the day she is a good kid and I trust her!

Ronell x




To Blog or Not to Blog…..

Keep going or stop????  The amount of time’s I have asked myself this question.  Recently I have realised it’s not only just me thinking this, a whole heap of other bloggers are in the same boat.

The thing is I never started blogging to get my followers up or anything like that, I did it because there are so many things I wanted to talk about and also share with people.  Like all my camping stuff, I had hoped that when someone was looking to go somewhere, there would use my blog as their reference point and say, hey thanks for this we checked it out!  But now I kinda feel like no one really gives a sh*t about what I think, let’s be honest here!  You write an article that you hope some people would relate to and then you get nothing from it, no likes, no comments, no nothing…..zilch! Now I get that not everything I blog about would appeal to everyone, but I love being able to engage with people.

I have about a handful of family and a very small handful of friends who actually show my blog a lot of love by their commenting and interaction with either photos or articles that I put up, and even people that I haven’t met interact with my posts more than people I have known for years.

So it kinda makes it hard to keep going when you get nothing in return.  And by that I don’t mean actual material things because that’s not what my blog is about, I am not one that does this to receive products to promote from PR companies, cause that’s not how I roll and I can’t be arsed with fluffing around with staging photos to promote something.  Thank goodness I don’t have the pressure of that.

It’s the same thing with supporting small businesses and all that, support, acknowledgement, interaction, that sort of thing.

So I am in a bit of a dilemma at the moment….I need to give this more thought.

Ronell x

p.s I did not write this so that people could comment and tell me how great my blog is or anything like that.  It’s just what’s going through my head at the moment.


DIY Natural Cleaning Products

As a family we are becoming more aware of the effect that plastic and chemicals are having on our environment.  So over the school holiday’s my girls and I experimented with a few homemade cleaning products.  My aim is to slowly replace most of the chemical cleaning products that we have been using.  I use a lot of DoTerra oils already so it made sense to include these great oils into my products.

We first made some toilet cleaning pods.  Here is the recipe, now this was my first go and I noticed that it does fizz a little but not what I was expecting, so it is trial and error.  The next batch I will try and tweak it.

1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup citric acid
1 & 1/2 TBSP liquid soap (you can use castile liquid soap or the DōTERRA on guard cleaning concentrate)
20 drops essential oil, we used 10 drops Purify and 10 drops Lemon.

Mix all together and spoon into silicone tray. They will start to puff up but keep pressing them down until they stop. Let them dry for 4 hours. To use – throw a pod in the toilet and when it stops fizzing then scrub away.

This is great to do midweek between your proper full clean of the toilet.

Recipe for the toilet cleaning pods is from DōTERRA.

Next we made a carpet deodoriser, below is how to make it.
2 cups baking soda
30 drops essential oil.

I used Lavender for its great antibacterial properties and grapefruit essential oil.

I then placed baking paper on top and sealed the lid, then just cut the paper around the jar. Afterwards poke holes with a toothpick. Before you go to bed sprinkle on all the carpets and vacuum the next morning.  The holes didn’t work as good, so the second time I made them a little bigger.

carpet cleaner


I was pretty much on a roll now and moved on to make a cleaning paste.  I was sick of having to clean the shower and inhale so much of the toxic smell from using Jif or bleach. Below is an image of the recipe and how to make it (sorry it was a lot to type out so just copied it from my blog facebook page)!


paste recipe.jpg


So there you have it!  I will be experimenting a lot more as my current products are used up, and having to find alternatives.  If you are not into DIY there are loads of companies in NZ that currently make it really easy for you to order your own kits that you can make up at home etc. or already made products.

Ronell x



Just Be you


How do we teach our young kid’s, especially girls that you don’t have to be like everyone else? Be confident in your own skin, just be you!  Everyone is different and that’s okay, no two people are alike because that would be totally boring!

I’m sure even as adults we are still dealing with some demons of always comparing ourself to someone else, or comparing our lives to someone else’s.  Do children learn this from us or is it just a normal human thing that we do and have to get ourselves out of.  This thinking all started due to Pink Shirt day at school today.  I went to Savemart a couple of weeks ago to find some pink t-shirts for the girls.  I chose one for my oldest who was fine with it and stuff then this morning she decided to change her mind (as they do) and wear something else.  She chose a very light soft pink top with jeans, it’s still pink but not in your face pink.  She has accessorised with pink earrings and sunglasses, she even chose fluro pink bands for her braces!  So all cool no dramas.

Then she see’s photos of other kids dressed up in bright pink clothes and fully decked out, pants, tops, hair everything which was so cool.  But instead of looking at it like, “wow they look awesome”, it was more like, ” I am not walking to school, I look horrible, my top is not even bright enough”  You get the picture!  I reminded her that you do have the top that I bought, which you can still wear.  NO!!!  It’s not pink apparently and more purply pink.  I said to her there are lots of shades of pink not just one type.  Anyway she ended up walking to school crying because she didn’t like how she was dressed and how she looked.

All morning I felt like a terrible mother for not being able to choose the right shade of pink or getting lots of pink stuff for her to wear and that she walked to school crying.  When I have gone over the top in the past she didn’t like it so I kept it simple this year, well I was wrong!  How do you win? Can you actually ever win with kids? The lesson here is next time take them shopping and let them choose!

Kid’s seem to ignore all the wonderful attributes that they have all because they want to be like the next person, instead of just rocking who they are.  Right about now I wish I had a Phd in knowing how kids minds work or something.  I’m always conscious of how I speak and alway’s make sure I never compare myself to other people in front of the girls.  I mean let’s be honest every now and again, I do compare myself to someone else in my head off course but not like I want to look like that person or anything, more like if someone is going on holiday, I would think to myself, “Oh how I would love to be on holiday now too” that sort of thing.



When we start comparing ourselves to others we start to loose our own confidence in ourselves!  The thing is though,  it’s happening with kids from such a young age, how do we fix this?  Imagine how freeing it must feel to just be you, and not give a flying f*ck about anyone or anything else.  Just live and soak up everyday!  Maybe I should print out every type of quote that I can find on the web and wallpaper their walls with them all!  Like I am at a loss because I can tell my girls all the right things and read all the wonderful things there is out there about being yourself but until they start believing it themselves, am I wasting my time?  Am I a nagging mum?

If you have any tips or advice or anything…..throw them my way!

Ronell x