Plank Life – Sponsored Post

***Sponsored Post***

Nikki planking in barcelona spain

Super Excited to be doing this sponsored post for Plank Life as it goes hand in hand with my September Slimdown. If you are like me after the pregnancy I feel my back has been worn out from carrying Miss A for 9 months! Or maybe you have been just having back pain problems? If you don’t have any back problems you may just want an all-round body workout! Planks are what you and  I both need in order to strengthen our core muscles to bring our body back into alignment.

The owner and founder of Plank Life goes by the name of Antonio D. Evans. He is a veteran in the fitness industry. His love of body-weight, functional, and core training is what fueled his drive to start Plank Life.

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Here is some of the low down of this company. “Plank Life is the official fitness brand that promotes core strength through planks. No matter what form of exercise an individual engages in, core strength is important. We believe the plank is the best exercise to help strengthen your core. Yoga lovers, corporate professionals, fitness enthusiasts, runners, athletes, and many more can benefit from a strong foundation. Our innovative and creative planks are bringing a new approach to an exercise once thought of as boring. Plank Life apparel and decals are cool, stylish, and bold. Stand with us as we help promote a stronger core.”

So if any of you guys are wanting an easy exercise you can do almost anywhere, head over to their website for some ideas. Also check out their line of apparel they have available so you can make your mark.  I know if Baby A can do it we all can do it. I will be starting off with a plank for 1min and building up to 3mins by the end of the month. Join me in this mini challenge.

To visit the Plank Life Website or connect with them on their social media pages Facebook and Twitter click on the links! Let’s get Planking!


Top 5 Essential Oils for Baby

Essential oils are something that I have been using lately to help my baby instead of always running to the doctor for little things like a cold or even bigger things like an ear infection. Many modern medicine have lots of chemicals and other things that aren’t too good for our body especially for young babies hence lots of the warning small print. So using natural oils is just one way I have decided to incorporate into our family that will help us live a safer, healthier and more natural lifestyle.

So saving my favourite for last here are my personal Top 5 Essential Oils for babies

5 Melaleuca/Teatree Oil – This is an all round oil an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial essential oil. You can use it for cuts, scraps, burns, bug bites, or even if you want to keep the bugs of you and baby. This has a distinct scent that I don’t mind.

4 Lemon – Is an anti bacterial oil as well. With everything that baby touches having lemon is nice on hand to clean everything and disinfect everything so that it is safe for baby to touch and play with. Even just adding it to your water help detox your body which is better for nursing babies!

3 Peppermint – Peppermint oil is a digestive aid and can be used to help with colic and tummy problems. It’s known to help cool fevers and act as a decongestant with colds. (Make sure to dilute this oil with coconut oil because its pretty strong on babies skin)

2 Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus oil is famous for it’s use as a decongestant for respiratory disorders. When baby had a cough Eucalyptus was magic for me all I did was rub on her feet and her coughing fits would dramatically decrease. I had to rub every 1-2hours. It also works to cool fevers and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

1 Lavender – This is by far one of my favorite, I can use it for pretty much anything. This is oil is used for rubbing on babies feet for when she is being extremely fussy to calm her down.  I use it for when she is teething just rubbing it around outside her mouth. When baby has an ear infection its great to be rubbed on the outside of the ear to sooth the discomfort that comes with an ear infection. I have also been using this oil to massage my babies lip from her cleft lip surgery. I also used this oil for baby when she put her hand on our old fashioned oven that is blazing hot on the outside and she burnt her little hand.

There are several brands out in the market but this is the one we use.  They are 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils that can be taken inside the body used Topically or Aromatically.

Have any of you tried essential oils what are your favorites. I love hearing stories of how oils helped individual and their families. So please share below some stories or experiences you may have had with essential oils!!!


5-7month Baby Schedule

I have to admit I love baby schedules. I know babies are not any kind of machine so we shouldn’t expect them to do this all day everyday like clock work. But having a schedule has worked well for me and helped my husband and I keep our sanity!!! After babies surgery we decided it was time to sleep train her. I know many of you have your own personal views of sleep training but lets not judge as we don’t understand everybody’s circumstances and family situations. I will save the whole sleep training video for another post. But here is the outline of baby’s schedule right now at her nearly 8month mark. Keeping in mind she does not have any teeth yet and have not been showing signs of teething yet so this may vary if you have a teething baby.


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6.30-7.30 – She wakes up

7.30am – Nursing

8.00am – Plays

8.30am – Breakfast

9.00am – Plays

10.00 – Morning Naptime

11.30-12pm – Wakes up

12.30 – Lunch Time

1.00 – Play time with mummy

1.30 – Nursing or Bottle

2.00 – Ready for Afternoon Nap

3.30- 4pm – Wakes Up

4pm – Plays

5pm – Dinner Time

6pm – Go for a walk

7pm – Bathtime/Playtime

8pm – Nursing, Storytime, Quiet Time

8.30pm – Bedtime

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She pretty much sticks to this schedule very well. Unless we take her out and mess up her sleeping patterns. She is also eating at every meal and is able to feed herself.  Because my husband has a fair bit of homework at night time putting her to bed at 8.30 allows him sufficient time to study. We will be eventually bringing her schedule a little earlier in time so she can go to bed at around 7.30pm.

How do you guys schedule your children? Do you even prefer a schedule? Let me know in the comments below and give me some tips for the upcoming months or when she starts teething.

Thanks for reading :)

 


Lessons I learnt from moving Countries

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When Conner and I were dating seriously, I knew that I had to make some pretty crucial decisions about where we were going to live. I knew for sure I wanted to live away from New Zealand for a while just because the cost of living is so expensive there and I like to pretend I am a nomad sometimes. One thing that annoys me is howpeople think as soon as they hear immigrant and you are moving to America because you live in poverty and need new life with better opportunities. Although this may be true in many cases. When the fact of the matter was I would have actually preferred that we lived in Australia, and still secretly do hope to live there for a bit. But we primarily moved here as he was still part way through school and his schooling was pretty much free so it was a no brainer.

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Moving countries can be daunting at first one because you are leaving all familiarity behind and you just never know what’s going to be around the corner. You may get stranded  with no way to get back home.  You may get abducted and no one knows you are missing. You may get lost and your phone dies and you run out of gas. The possibilities are endless. But for certain it is a new adventure which requires courage and faith, at times determination and perseverance.

1. FAMILY WILL ALWAYS BE FAMILY

Although my family is half way across the world I still keep in touch with them on a regular basis. I talk to one or more of them several times a week and with social media it makes it all the more easier. It’s always nice to know they are just a phone call or message away. Although it does make it a little harder when you see them get together with the whole family and you are missing.

2. MAKING NEW FRIENDS REQUIRE EFFORT

It was hard at first having to make new friends especially when they don’t get your New Zealand sense of humor or your polynesian mocks. I really had to make a effort to get myself out there and talk to people. I had to find common ground in things I didn’t think I would such as parenting, fitness, crafts and random things. People already have their life going on and it’s not they are trying to be rude that are already in their routine so sometimes talking to someone new and befriending somebody that hasn’t been in their circle friends can be out of the norm for them as well.

3. IQ DROPS

You literally feel your IQ has dropped several points. Instead of being the savvy one you now have to ask every person and their dog questions about the weather, the transport, the shops, groceries, everything and anything. Google and GPS app becomes your best friend. You just need to accept that you will be handicapped for at least the first month until you get your head around things.

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4. BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED

You can’t just expect to love the place that you are in if you don’t integrate into the place.  If you don’t treat it and make it like home you will never fully appreciate why you are there and the opportunities that await you. The best way to cure homesickness is to go out there and find somebody who needs you.

5. CHOICES DON’T JUST AFFECT YOU

Just because it’s my decision it doesn’t mean that should only consider how it affects me. One choice can affect not only you but many more generations to come. My parents moving from Tonga to New Zealand has not only affected them but us and their grandchildren to follow. My choice to come here has also affected my sibilings and my parents now my parents have to consider putting money aside for when they can come and visit my family here. My sibiling have to plan big family functions around so that I am also factored into the equation. It isn’t the easiest situation but I am grateful that

6. STASH AWAY SOME CASH

You never no when you will need a ticket back home. You never know when a family emergency back home may arise and you want to be prepared for those situations. Save some money for that day, just in case you never know.

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7. EMBRACE NEW CULTURE

One thing that I still struggle with is embracing this american patriotism. I know it sounds bad but I feel like a fake when they sing the national anthem what am I suppose to do just sit there while everybody else is standing. Or do I not put my hand over my heart? I feel like if I don’t do it everybody is thinking I am a jerk??? But I guess that is something that I still need to work on. So I just do it and hopefully in time I will start to actually feel like it has meaning to me. I think time will be able to help me grow fonder of the country and all its new traditions.

Are you looking to moving country, state or city? What were some of your obstacles? What are some things you can do to prepare for these changes? Share your thoughts and ideas below… Would love to hear them :)


Planning our New Zealand Trip PT 2

Part one mainly covered the basic overall things we needed to think about for the long flight to New Zealand. Seeing I am a sucker for planning I had to make sure we had all the details of our trip. This is a description of our Itinerary  for the 4 weeks we will be in New Zealand. Of course I don’t think everything is going to go as planned but we will keep you posted as we go along what worked out and what didn’t.  We are exploring both the north and the south island, but mainly the north island. I am way way excited I have not been down to the south island yet so this will definitely be for me to tick of a bucket list item.

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Flight leaves 28 November the day after thanksgiving. We will be leaving straight from Las Vegas. Hopefully arriving into Auckland, New  Zealand on the 30th of December. I feel like a lose so much time in just flying. Fingers crossed we make all our connections and there are no delays. We will be meeting up with Conners grandma in New Zealand and doing the whole tourist thing together with her.

*Subject to change on a regular basis

  1. Monday – Driving to Hamilton and Raglan- Hamilton
  2. Tues – Waitomo Caves  – Hamilton
  3. Wed – Coromandel and Beaches – Coromandel
  4. Thurs – Temple and Relax – Hamilton
  5. Fri  – My Little Brothers Wedding –  Hamilton to Auckland
  6. Sat  – Recovery Relax Day – Auckland
  7. Sun  – Flying to Queenstown – Auckland to Queenstown
  8. Mon – Bunjy Jump and Boat Ride
  9. Tues – Cultural Show and Winery
  10. Wed – Travel back to Auckland
  11. Thurs – Wedding Preparations
  12. Fri – My Little Sisters Wedding – Hamilton to Auckland
  13. Sat – Recovery Relax Day
  14. Sun – Church and Visit Family and Friends
  15. Mon – Kayak to Rangitoto Island and Zipline – Auckland
  16. Tues – Hike Waitakere Ranges – West Auckland
  17. Wed – Drive up to the Bay of Islands
  18. Thurs – Sandboarding and Waitangi
  19. Fri – Paihia and Russel
  20. Sat- Kauri Forest and Boating
  21. Sun – Church in Kaikohe and Visit Family
  22. Mon – Travel down to Auckland pick up family and head to Rotorua
  23. Tues – Mud pools and sight see
  24. Wed – Whitewater rafting adventures
  25. Thurs – CHRISTMAS
  26. Fri – BOXING DAY – Travel Back to Auckland
  27. Sat –  Otara Markets and Night Markets
  28. Sun – Church and Visit with family and friends
  29. Mon – Beach Day and Pack Day
  30. Tues –  Leave

So guys what do you think of this crazy jam packed holiday? Too packed??? Let me know what you think I should change? Whether we need to spend more time with the family? Do you want to join us>> We would love for you to join us in any part of these adventures!!! The more the merrier!!! Comment below :)

 


My Pregnancy Weight Gain

FIRST TIME EVER PREGNANCY PHOTOS ONLINE!!! If you are pregnant you just need to accept the fact that as much as you try you will gain extra weight whether you like it or not. Being of a polynesian build I am just naturally more dense than the average girl. Big bones big head big thighs big feet but what can you do other than embrace what my genes have given me and work with what I got right? So obviously my small is not your small and that’s perfectly fine with me. We all need to choose what is good for us and not compare ourselves to each other but find our own personal best! P.S I wasn’t super excited about being pregnant hence why I never publicized it on social media, these photos were taken for my family who kept annoying me to send over pictures, and these are the only ones I have. Hind sight I wish I took more.

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My eating habits were not the best while pregnant. When you are on a budget and scrimping on time you result to the unhealthy easy to cook microwave meals. I did vary trying to eat healthy foods but most of the time I carved down all the pastas and breads. I started doing this paleo diet but that didn’t last very long. We don’t eat lots of takeaways so rarely did I eat  fast food and if we did I would just grab a small burger oh and must have fries! I don’t know why but I had cravings for soda more than usual and also home made bread which meant I baked lots of bread  slathered with butter and jam.mmmm! So overall diet I would give myself a 4/10 for healthiness. I’m sorry baby I didn’t give you a fair chance in life from the get go. :(10656649_10152363087113590_409081888_n

Before getting pregnant I didn’t even realize people could exercise while they were pregnant. I guess I was soo use to my traditional tongan pregnancies where they don’t do anything too physical for 9 months for fear they might hurt the baby. Little did I realize I had a friend down the road who was 8months pregnant running a half marathon. Obviously by that point it was too late for me to start to do that kind of exercise. (Nor did I really feel like doing that either)  I didn’t see a doctor until I was about 20 weeks and with each 4 week visit they do blood pressure test and weigh you. In New Zealand we use KG, but everything here is measured in pounds so at each doctor’s visit I chose to ignore the scales because it had no meaning  or significance to me, neither did I try to convert it for fear that I may have to do something about it. IGNORANCE WAS MOMENTARY BLISS!1462548_10152886912343590_8076370310413480468_o

Most annoying thing with each visit to the doctor was she kept telling me that I was gaining too much weight! For goodness sake lady I’m pregnant what do you expect. Apparently I’m supposed to keep it within some kind of range between 20-30 pounds but by the end of my pregnancy I had gained like 50 -60 pounds. Eventually towards the end I started to get worried when I finally hit the 200pound mark I was like what the heck that sounds crazy so I converted to KG’s and found out I was ……. 90KG YIKES!!! That’s the heaviest i’ve been in my life so from 65-90kg! The joke at the end was on me when my baby was the smallest  6LB baby ever so most of that weight was on me to lose. BOOO!!!

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This is not my bedroom!! haha this is greek theme bed and breakfast inn at 38weeks

We all know the saying 9months to gain the weight and so theoretically thinking its going to be 9months to lose the baby weight… Well that means I have only 2more months to get back down to my prepregnancy weight. HELP!! Always keeping in mind small progress is better than no progress. If you are interested at my losing the pregnancy weight stay tune for that story coming soon!  People always say that with the first baby the weight is easier to lose but looks like I’m still having trouble haha

Overall: Eating 4/10 Fitness 5/10  Weight Gain: 65kg-90kg

Stay tune for more!!! 9month post pregnancy weightloss period coming soon!


Planning our New Zealand Trip Part 1

This December our little family are super excited to be going back home to visit my family. It’s been only 2 years since I have been back so I am assuming not much has changed. Both my brother and sister are getting married a week apart so that’s the real reason of us going down there, but while we are there we may as well make the most of it and actually do some sight seeing. Growing up in Auckland was awesome, but I didn’t get to do much as I was always caught up in the hustle and bustle of life… Work, School, Family, Church. On occasion it would take me out of Auckland but to be honest I have never actually been a true tourist of my own country. So my time has finally arrived. IMG_1447b

Flights: Leaving from LA- Auckland the price range is generally fromUS$1200 – $1700 Off Season and US$1700-$2500 Crazy Season. Airlines I prefer to fly with would either be Qantas or Air New Zealand. They seem to be the most reliable for me in my latest travels and stop off in Australia. The layovers in australia are pretty quick because there are so many flights going back and forth between Australia and New Zealand. But if you want to stop by one of the tropical islands before New Zealand you could go through Fiji Airways or Tahiti. Tahiti has a nice outdoor open airport and showers if you feel like getting refreshed after a long flight. If you have a long enough layover maybe you could hit their beaches! We are hoping to catch some flights through australia so we can visit with the cuzzies… depending on what the cheapest is really.

Accommodation: New Zealand people are pretty hospitable. If you stay at someones place through AirBnB they will look after you well. We will be staying with family for majority of the time. But as we are planning to head over to the south island we may try look for a spot in Queenstown, most likely a place through AirBnB as they are generally well equipped with most things, and I feel it’s around the same price as a motel just a little bit more cozier. We are also planning to go up to the bay of islands and will most likely be staying with family there. Are accommodations costs are going to be hopefully minimal we are looking at spending about $500 at the most on accommodation.421140_343114015731154_9745456_n

Car rentals: Rentals stink but feel they are necessary unless you want to take public transport everywhere. We didn’t get a car rental when we were in hawaii I mean it was okay but it wasn’t the most convenient obviously. We had to figure out the public transport routes and lots of them took the long way to get to places. It was fun for the first while then it got old. While in the north island we will be borrowing my brothers or sisters car which ever of them want to be generous to us and we will only be renting while in the south island for about $80 a day for the smallest of the cars. 
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Spending Money: Food, Entertainment, Tourist Attraction and little random things are what we will be spending any extra money on. I’m not planning on blowing out much on souvenirs or anything but more on experiences. Some things that I know I may be spending a little bit of money on will be a bungy jump somewhere, whether off the harbour bridge or in Queenstown. Thais something on my bucket list that needs to be ticked off. Possibly do some water rafting or kayaking maybe if im lucky a zipline over waiheke. I know super wishful thinking but hopefully if I’m lucky I may find some sponsors along the way hahha I’m giving ourselves a budget of $1000 to play around with. P.s photo above is when we were in New Zealand last time… and those are real sheep not just a picture haha

Passports and Visas: Baby will be getting her first passport so that’s exciting. Obviously she will be getting a US passport but while we are New Zealand we are hoping to apply her for dual citizenship. Who knows she may prefer  NZ and want to live there…We will also be getting my name changed officially and getting me a new passport with the name change!! Yay more money spending on just stuff I think this will all be roughly around $500 yuck!!!

If you have any tips of things that are must see places.. comment and share below!!!! If you think my budgets are realistic or not let me know… :)

 

Thanks!!! Be Amazing!!!


My Vintage Dress

Okay let’s be honest this was the first time for both of us to be in front of a camera and acting  all lovey dovey! It was kind of awkward for the both of us and maybe because we made it more awkward than it needed to be. P.S Conner didn’t really like my vintage dresses back then and even now he’s still kind of getting use to them but for me they were my trademark so I had to have them at least for a set of photos in our engagement! I choose this dress because I loved all its springy colours. It may not have been the most flattering  now that I look back and see that it made me look  like a balloon but oh well.. what’s done is done. So don’t judge our awkwardness in the photos ahaha     Photo Credit: Anne Ofahulu

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I got into vintage dresses when I was around 12-13 years old because I never had clothes that were in style. My mum would buy things once they were on sale and so we were always behind what was trending. Eventually I gave up and decided instead of trying to always keep up with style, I had to make my own style. My grandma always went to the second-hand stores and got clothes for us, so instead of hating on them for the longest time I chose to embrace them take them home and make the most of them. I pretended that I looked good in them even though I didn’t believe it at first. In public always got weird looks from people but eventually I got to enjoy the extra weird looks and thought it was funny.. With time I eventually convinced myself that I did like my old school style. Although my mum was embarrassed and would tell me to change out of my old-looking grandma dresses.

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In high school girls would smirk at the clothes I wore and would wonder why I was so weird. But with each smirk and whisper I grew more and more confident in wearing them. Now looking back wearing vintage dresses brings back fun memories of me learning to be confident in my own skin and being happy with what I have instead of always wanting what I didn’t have. I loved rummaging through my grandmothers and mothers old closets, it was always a surprise you never knew what you were going to come across. I loved taking old things and then changing them into new funky things or finding new ways of wearing old thing. I love that vintage dresses let me be my own creative.

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I am kind of glad that more people are now into that vintage style so now I don’t feel as awkward and out-of-place. Not that it matters anyways. But I don’t get as many weird looks as I did back in the days. Here where I live many people don’t wear this style and still get the occasional double take. haha I really feel vintage dresses will always have a special place in my heart as it was my outlet during my teen years to express myself. It was my way of dealing with the stereotypes and coping with the peer pressures it was my form of rebellion against society you could say???
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Today I see so many people trying to conform to certain styles, or buying whatever to be with the latest trend. But the funny thing about fashion is that it’s always changing once you think you are in it, it goes it’s a never-ending cycle!!!! I want to encourage you to find your style, find you, be you. Be the best you that you can be and not anybody else. And you will find somebody who likes you for you! The weird funny, crazy you that you are!!
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  Be AMAZING  beyond measure because you are beautiful beyond that which you can imagine!!  You were created by our all powerful creator! p.s Below is a cute house we were by,  there was the old lady looking out the window so we asked her if we could take pictures outside her house. It’s such a perfect little house by the railway tracks in the middle of farmlands.  TC2013 (1038)bw

How do you express yourself?  How do you have confidence in what you wear? Do you need the approval of others until you feel confident? Comment and share below your thoughts and your stories :)


DIY: Easy No Sew Nursing Cover

DIY Nursing Cover

Turn your old maxi skirt into a fun Nursing Cover. Who could have thought this would be my life saver. As my little munchkin is approaching her 7month mark she is getting a lot more mobile, interested in the world around her which makes feeding time a little bit trickier. I needed something that would protect me from exposing myself to the world!

I have been following some fun mommy blogs and came across some mothers using these awesome infinity scarves which double as nursing covers!!! I love the 360 degree coverage!!! Check these out if you aren’t into the whole DIY thing!

But if you want to go further and actually make your own DIY nursing cover here are the steps.

1. Find Old maxi skirt that you don’t want anymore or even use one that you would prefer a nursing cover.
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2. Cut the top band of it

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3. You are done… Pull it over your head and give it a whirl. Use it as a Scarf use it as a car seat cover use it as a shopping cart cover!!!! Whatever you want use your imagination!!!

 

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Muffin in a Mug in 1minute

Breakfast is not really my kind of thing. I usually skip it all together or just have peanut butter on toast. So today I decided I wanted to liven it up a little more and make it a more enjoyable experience. While on google I came across these breakfast recipes in a mug idea! BONUS they are tasty and super easy and quick to make. I think I want a muffin everyday now! haha I adjusted the recipe to my liking and end result was fantastic! image

Blueberry Muffin

4tbls Flour

1tbls Brown Sugar

1/8tsp Baking Powder

1/8 tsp Salt

1 Tbls Coconut Oil

2-/3 Tbls Milk

Toping

Berries

Sprinkle Coconut Flakes and  Brown Sugar

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Enjoy!!!! Stay tune for more fun easy budget friendly recipes!!!



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